The Open Access Movement: Opportunities and Hurdles

The Open Access Movement: Opportunities and Hurdles

Shalini R. Lihitkar, RTM Nagpur University, Nagpur (IN)
Ravindra S. Bankar, Anand Niketan College of Agriculture, Warora (IN)

In the era of Information, there are multiple issues and challenges in accessing information, and the information explosion has made access and availability of accurate information a much more intricate process. However, in the opportunity-growth of the internet has made ease of access to the information. For precise information sharing, different information retrieval and dissemination strategies have been developed, and here we focus on the various initiatives, opportunities, and obstacles in the Open Access Movement.

Open Education Resources: These are many kinds of media, like e-books, manuals, informational blogs, videos, podcasts, research/scientific communication, online textbooks, streamed interviews, MOOCs, etc., that are meant for educational purposes or used to gain some useful knowledge.

Open Access Movement: The Open Access movement is the movement to make available or publish scholarly literature on the internet to readers free of charge and free of unnecessary licensing restrictions. The primary objective of the OA movement is to improve the system of scientific communication by optimizing access to and maximizing the impact of research results through self-archiving (Harnad, 2003).

—Now is the time to reconsider open access to knowledge for the whole of humanity—

Important OA Initiatives:

A. OAI-Open Archives Initiative: The Open Archives Initiative develops and promotes interoperability standards that aim to facilitate the efficient dissemination of content. OAI projects include:

  1.  ResourceSync: Utilized to devise specifications for web-based resource synchronizations. ResourceSync researches, develops, prototypes, tests, and deploys mechanisms for the large-scale synchronization of web resources (Van de Sompel & Klein, 2014).
  2. OAI-ORE: Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange defines standards for the description and exchange of aggregations of Web resources. These aggregations, sometimes called compound digital objects, may combine distributed resources with multiple media types including text, images, data, and video (Lagoze & Van de Sompel, 2007).
  3. OAI-PMH: The Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) is an easy mechanism for digital repository interoperability. Data Providers are repositories that expose structured metadata via OAI-PMH. Service Providers then make OAI-PMH service requests to harvest that metadata. OAI-PMH is a set of six verbs or services that are invoked within HTTP (Lagoze & Van de Sompel, 2001).

B. BOAI Budapest Open Access Initiative: The initiative was established with a purpose: that we could work together to achieve broader, deeper, and faster success for the open access movement. This initiative explored the most effective and affordable strategies for serving electronic copy.

C. Plan S / cOAlition S: Plan S or cOAlition S is an organization helping to mandate open access for research publication by employing research grants, and is committed to making full and immediate Open Access to research publications a reality (European Science Foundation, 2022). It is a coalition of public/private grants provided by regional, national or international research councils and funding bodies for making research open through OA platforms.

D. GOAP Global Open Access Portal: GOAP is a provider of dynamic content available through publicly available information. GOAP provides country-wise Open Access profiles, highlighting the key OA initiatives in each country and its mandates, along with events and publications in countries worldwide (UNESCO, 2021). It is supported by premier organizations like UNESCO, Indian Statistical Institute, (Autonomous Mexico State University), and AmeliCA open knowledge.

E. LYRASIS-Open Access Community Investment Program (OACIP): The LYRASIS Open Access Community Investment Program (OACIP) provides a community-driven infrastructure that enables various collaborators—including public as well as academic libraries, government academic departments, institutions, and funding agencies—to assess and collectively commit funding to Diamond Open Access (OA) journals. Well-known products like DuraSpace, Fedora, VIVO, Dspace-direct, and Duracloud are part of the LYRASIS (Wilkin, 2022).

Opportunities for OA Movement: Thousands of years ago, knowledge was being transferred from one person to another through the Guru-Shishya (Teachers-Student) medium. In this process, little knowledge was lost and much was added with the experience. That knowledge was free of cost in contemporary periods, but as of now, the day-by-day value of information increased. Along with it, paywalls also emerged for its utilization; now is the time to reconsider open access to knowledge for the whole of humanity. A few of the following things can be considered significant for the OA movement:

  • Revolution: If knowledge is open for all, for free, and forever, it will be the revolution.
  • Reach: OA will remove the chasm of information to knowledge-deprecated areas of society.
  • Application: Utilization of information will increase in science and technology undoubtedly through ready access.
  • Sustenance: Ease of access to information freely will alternatively increase sustenance in fields of innovation, betterment of society, and nature sustainability.
  • Change: OA movement will result in a change in virtue of science from competition to peace and humanity.

Obstacles in OA Movement: As development is growing in every aspect of humankind, people are being resourceful in every area. Their requirements and expectations are transferred into greed, and so as a counterpart to science, knowledge and intellect have become a medium of money. OA or Open Access movement is a noble cause for humankind overall in making knowledge free, but a few of the following things can be counted as hurdles of the Open Access Movement:

  • Virtue: Society always criticizes freely available things; Open Access still has the curse of misguided perceptions of quality, integrity, and transparency.
  • Economics: Thousands of stakeholders stand to gain with paywalls of scholarly science communications, and legal and economic hurdles are real barriers to Open Access.
  • Technology: Open Access is purely based on technology; until digitization becomes low cost, open access will remain a slow process.
  • Control: the Open Access movement will suffer a loss of quality control in content creation and its delivery policy.
  • Sustainability: Open access through a digital medium and its forever footprint is geeky technology, so sustainability in OA is still a significant hurdle.

One can count many opportunities or issues for open access movement. The emergence of sci-hub, lib-gen, z-lib, Project-Gutenberg, git-books and so many other platforms to remove paywalls are signals that the Open Access Movement is inevitable in near future, and science and technology will flourish vigorously with its success.


Chan, L. (2022). Budapest Open Access Initiative [Blog]. BOAI.

European Science Foundation. (2022). Plan S. Making Full and Open Access a Reality.

Harnad, S. (2003). Open access to peer-reviewed research through author/institution self-archiving: Maximizing research impact by maximizing online access. Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, 49(4), 337–342.

Lagoze, C., & Van de Sompel, H. (2001). The Open Archives Initiative. Open Meeting Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Germany, Berlin.

Lagoze, C., & Van de Sompel, H. (2007). Compound Information Objects: The OAI-ORE Perspective [Document]. OAI-ORE Technical Committee, University in Southampton, England.

UNESCO. (2021). GOAP 2.0 [Blog]. Global Open Access Portal.

Van de Sompel, H., & Klein, M. (2014, April). ResourceSync | NISO. CNI 2014 Spring Membership Meeting, St. Louis, MO.

Wilkin, J. (2022). LYRASIS [Webpage]. Lyrasis Now.

Cite this article in APA as: Lihitkar, S. R. & Bankar, R. S. (2023, March 30). The open access movement: Opportunities and hurdles. Information Matters, Vol. 3, Issue 4.

Dr. Shalini R. Lihitkar

I am currently serving as an Associate Professor of LIS at the RTM Nagpur University, Nagpur(IN). I have more than 20 years of experience in the field. My research interests include OSS,information retrieval, metadata, information literacy, OA, AI and e-learning.