Open Access — Towards a non-normative and systematic understanding

« The term Open Access not only describes a certain model of scholarly publishing — namely in digital format freely accessible to readers — but often also implies that free availability of research results is desirable, and hence has a normative character. Together with the large variety of presently used definitions of different Open Access types, this normativity hinders a systematic investigation of the development of open availability of scholarly literature. In this paper, we propose a non-normative definition of Open Access and its usage as a neutral, descriptive term in bibliometric studies and research on science. (…) »