Open access refers to both content and telecommunications infrastructure. In the case of the former, open access designates free, immediate, permanent, full-text, online access, for any user, web-wide, to digital scientific and scholarly material, primarily research articles published in peer-reviewed journals. In the case of infrastructure, the open access approach is about creating a set of core values to guide infrastructure policy and regulation in a way that empowers citizens, encourages local innovation, economic growth and investment, and gets the best from public and private sector contributions. These values can be summarised as follows: a technology-neutral framework (that encourages innovative, low-cost delivery to users); competition at all layers in the internet protocol network (allowing a wide variety of physical networks and applications to interact in an open architecture); transparency to ensure fair trading within and between layers (that allows clear, comparative information on market prices and services); the circumstances where everyone can connect to everyone else at the layer interface (so that any size of organisation can enter the market and no-one takes a position of dominant market power); devolved local solutions rather than centralised ones (encouraging services that are closer to the user).
Style information: APC does not capitalise this term.
Source: Wikipedia and Open Access Models: Options for Improving Backbone Access in Developing Countries (with a Focus on Sub-Saharan Africa), infoDev (PDF)
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