Here I was thinking that Open Access was a relatively simple thing in support of the broad education community. An increasing number of scholarly articles and their data are being published in an Open Access way. Free is good.

However, the term “free” is not a clear enough term. It is the imprecise, multiple-meaning problem of English. There is “free of cost” which has also been expressed as “free-as-in-beer” and more recently the more international term “gratis”. There is also the very different “free-as-in-freedom” which is “free of conditions for use” and the more international term “libre”.

Some good posts to explain the issues of Open Access vocabulary:

http://www.arl.org/sparc/publications/articles/gratisandlibre.shtml

and a pair of others.

http://wwmm.ch.cam.ac.uk/blogs/murrayrust/?p=2131

http://wwmm.ch.cam.ac.uk/blogs/murrayrust/?p=2133

Know your rights. Learn the vocabulary of Open Access.

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