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Open access (OA) is a publication approach in which academic research articles are made freely available online without any barriers to access. Its purpose is to facilitate information sharing and the free flow of scientific data.

There are several advantages for publishers who adopt open access. In the first place, it increases the significance of previously-published findings. If paywalls were taken down, more people could read and cite the articles because they would be accessible to anybody with an internet connection. Authors and publishers alike may benefit from this high profile. The second benefit of open access is the way it encourages teamwork and new ideas.