Librarians and information professionals often play a role in advocating for the open access (OA) to information. I consider myself one of those advocates and will discuss what I think that means.
My OA journey began in an academic environment with the open sharing of research and educational materials, and the enthusiastic promotion of Creative Commons (CC) licences. Later experience outside of an academic institution showed me that “open access” can be applied to all types of materials, incorporate different kinds of open licences while respecting copyright law, use intricate business models, and involve competing ideologies.
If we look back at key declarations and statements promoting open access, with a focus on legal information, we can gain some insight into the complexity of the perspectives involved.
You cannot talk about the definition of open access without starting with the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), the declaration that offered the first OA definition back