What is Open Access?
Open access stands for unlimited and free access to scientific information. Users are not only entitled to read the publication, but also to disseminate and use it for further research. Of course, the authors must always be referenced.
Publication on the Internet that does not involve an explicit transfer of rights to users in the above sense does not meet the requirements of open access.
Concerns that open access violates the rules of good scientific practice are unfounded, since the same rules apply here as for conventional publications (prohibition of plagiarism, abusive processing, etc.). Cf. https://openaccess.mpg.de/policy.
Roads to open access:
- Initial publication in an open access journal / proceedings ("Gold Road")
- Secondary publication of an already published manuscript in institutional or subject-specific repositories, websites, or archives ("Green Road")
(secondary publication may be either simultaneous or delayed with the initial publication)