Open Access makes research outputs freely available to anyone who wishes to read them. Various types of Open Access allow for different levels of access, for example limiting the use to read only or allowing commercial use of the material.
The Benefits of Open Access (clockwise from top): More exposure for your work. Practitioners can apply your findings. Higher citation rates. Your research can influence policy. The public can access your findings. Compliant with grant rules. Tax payers get value for money. Researchers in developing countries can see your work. CC-BY Danny Kingsley & Sarah Brown.
There are two ways in which research can be made openly available.