Open access allows researchers to access books and other items for free. These resources are openly available to users with no requirements for authentication or payment:www.cs.cornell.edu/wya/DigLib/MS1999/Glossary.html.
In this publication model neither readers nor a reader’s institution are charged for access to articles or other resources. Users are free to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles. The free availability of scholarly research literature, without restrictions of price or permissions on the Internet, is an important research tool in the age of IoT. Open Access journals allow researchers self-archiving in a digital repository or publication.
Using Open Access does not mean giving up all copyrights of ones scholarly work since it is anchored in the U.S. copyright system. When publishing with traditional scholarly journals, authors typically sign an agreement that transfers all their copyrights to the publisher, retaining no rights for themselves to re-use or distribute their own work. However, with open access journals, authors retain their rights to re-use their work in teaching and further scholarship. (Information consolidated from Lloyd Sealy Library)
One of the best ways keeping scholarly work within one’s personal control is the SPARC Author Addendum. SPARCis a legal instrument that modifies the publisher’s agreement and allows authors to keep key rights to their articles. The Author Addendum is a free resource developed by SPARC in partnership with Creative Commons and Science Commons, established non-profit organizations that offer a range of copyright options for many different creative endeavors. (quoted from SPARC BROCHURE)