The term Open Access is used to describe the practice of providing free online access to scholarly literature and other materials. Publishing a scholarly document under the Open Access model grants other users the unrestricted right to read, download, save, print and link to the document and to use it free of charge. Authors can also publish documents under a Free Content license, which grants users a range of other usage rights including the right to use, copy, distribute and modify content (© Wikipedia).
The DFG-funded information portal www.open-access.net offers a comprehensive overview of Open Access publishing practices and detailed information on their application across a range of subject areas and disciplines.
The addition of Open Access documents held in university archives (repositories / document servers) to library catalogs is yet to become standard practice. Approximately 3.5 million OA media published through selected external archives are currently indexed on the SuUB Bremen search engine (catalog) (for more details, please see the E-LIB project description). A far more extensive range of OA documents can be accessed through BASE – a special database operated by Bielefeld University Library.