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Open Access is the immediateonlinefree availability of research outputs without restrictions on use commonly imposed by publisher copyright agreements. Open Access includes the outputs that scholars normally give away for free for publication; it includes peer-reviewed journal articles, conference papers and datasets of various kinds.

Access to knowledge, information, and data is essential in higher education and research; and more generally, for sustained progress in society. Improved access is the basis for the transfer of knowledge (teaching), knowledge generation (research), and knowledge valorization (civil society).

Providing Open Access to research, both research papers and (the underlying) datasets, is not only beneficial for the public, but also for the researchers: several studies indicate that openness increases citations. Openness also improves reproducibility of your research results – and it might introduce new and perhaps unexpected audiences to your work.
 

More information: 

Open Access Overview