Open access (OA) is a set of principles and a range of practices through which research outputs and materials are distributed online, free of cost or other access barriers. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of OA both for the scientific community and the research community more broadly.
The pandemic has drawn attention to the need for open archives. One librarian has noted, "The greatest asset of any academic library’s collection is its special collections and archives. Ironically, these distinctive materials are often hidden in vaults, only available for in-person access. Archivists have been challenged to provide research materials and services online during the COVID-19 closure. Look for an increase in archives digitization efforts in the coming years, transitioning digitized content from being a method of preservation or preview, to being the primary access point for the collection." "From Changed, Changed Utterly," Inside Higher Ed