Open Access is a publishing business model that allows the immediate and free access to content for any reader in the world with an Internet connection. The Budapest Treaty launched Open Access with start up funding as a response to the escalating costs of commercial, subscription-based way of publishing scholarly research. The annual inflationary costs of subscriptions to schoalrly research, especially journals in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine) fields have been making it difficult to impossible for colleges and universities to maintain or increase access to their collections under tight library budget conditions. The model has been adapting for at least the past decade to help make scholarly publishing more sustainable.
Open Access is: