Peter Suber’s Open Access Overview is a web page on the author’s personal web site which is intended to serve as an introduction to the OA movement.
Although there are books which also serve this purpose (including several by Suber, who is a very well-established OA expert), the web overview has several benefits, chief among which are:
- It is relatively short
- It breaks down concepts to an elementary level, and provides succinct definitions for terms, and
- It links out to other, more exhaustive resources at the point of information
The page consists of a number of lists, which address different functional/theoretical aspects of OA:
- Basic information about OA
- Legal basis for OA
- OA focuses on “literature that authors give to the world without expectation of payment”
- OA is often publicly funded
- OA is “not free to produce or publish”
- OA and peer review
- Differences in OA journal publishing (Gold OA) and OA repositories (Green OA)
- OA as a constructive project
- OA is not the same as universal access
- OA is not a business model
- Usefulness of OA for different groups of people
- “OA in historical perspective”
Additionally, Suber includes links for further reading (although some are no longer actively maintained).
If the overview page is still too detailed, Suber also maintains a “Very Brief Introduction to Open Access” which sets out nothing more than the basic definitions of OA, what it tries to do, and how it tries to do it.