The Open Access (OA) initiative supports making scholarly peer-reviewed articles freely available on the Internet, either immediately or after a defined embargo period. The focus is on world-wide, barrier-free, open access to the full text of research and creative literature, using a funding or economic paradigm that differs from current journal publishing models. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) has written a very good overview of why OA matters along with a factsheet that highlights some interesting OA metrics.
The Memorial Sloan Kettering Library is committed to the principles of open access to scientific literature as a means to accelerate scientific discovery and improve patient care. This Open Access LibGuide contains a host of information resources to raise awareness of open access publishing options and offers guidance to authors of scholarly works who wish to disseminate their research without restrictions of the commercial/fee-based publishing model. This LibGuide is not intended as legal advice. The content of each of the tabs above provide a starting point for those interested in learning more about this topic.