Open access refers to the practice of making peer-reviewed scholarly research and literature freely available online to anyone interested in reading it. Open access has two different versions—gratis and libre.
The formal beginnings of the open access movement are several declarations issued in the early 2000s: the Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002), the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (2003), and the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003). The policies put forth in those declarations form the core tenets of the modern open access movement, but there are several antecedents like arXiv, a public repository for scientific papers. So while some academic disciplines were freely sharing knowledge before the three declarations were issued, it was those three declarations that codified open access into the cohesive movement it is today. Notably, all three of the declarations required articles to be published both gratis and libre to be considered open access, but in practice gratis is still more common. In 2012, the Budapest Open Access Initiative acknowledged, "We should not delay achieving gratis in order to achieve libre, and we should not stop with gratis when we can achieve libre.”
Anyone can help raise awareness by installing the open access button in their web browser and sharing it via social media. Open Access Week is an international event that occurs online, in late October every year. It offers ideas for students, researchers, funders, administrators, librarians, and others to connect and show their support for open access. It is a good opportunity to learn more about open access and to share with others.
Middle East Journal of Applied Science & Technology (MEJAST) supports full open access to the published articles. This means, everyone has free and unlimited access to the full-text of all articles published in MEJAST, everyone is free to re-use the published material if proper citation of the original publication is given accordingly.