2.0 Introduction

Emerging developments in Internet in the 1990s led to global sharing of knowledge and universal access to information resources. Scholarly communication channels got tremendous impetus, when Internet pushed further their reach, availability and readership. Adaptation of information and communication technologies (ICT) in academic research environment helped in enhancing productivity of research scholars. Borderless or cross-border nature of Internet pushed further global access to knowledge resources and academic databases round the corner in 24X7 timeframe. Many scholarly journals in print format started publishing their electronic edition, which since then are popularly known as electronic journals or e-journals. Scholarly open access (OA) journals are a kind of e-journals available in online environment through Internet, without any access barrier, such as annual subscription fee. In the beginning years of the 21st Century, scholarly communities got engaged with the global OA movements for opening up scholarly resources, more particularly research literature, to worldwide researchers’ communities without any access fee or subscription cost. Then researchers’ communities availed not only free access to scholarly contents, but also other bundle of rights need to be provided to creators and users of research literature. Freedom of sharing, archiving, reusing and remixing of scholarly contents was not available through normal copyright protection mechanisms. Copyright laws of many countries discouraged public sharing or reusing of scholarly contents. While extending freedom of sharing or reusing to user groups through the alternative to copyright protection pathways, such as Creative Commons (CC) or CopyLeft licenses, users groups happily make use of these community resources for further production and distribution of knowledge. While protecting creators’ rights, CC licenses churn out full potentials of OA research literature. In this Unit, the genesis of OA publishing is briefly discussed. This Unit also highlights different benefits OA publishing promises, different approaches and business models of OA. Finally, this Unit gives you an overview of long-terms preservation models available for OA and other scholarly electronic contents.

Last modified: Tuesday, 23 March 2021, 12:13 AM