Answered By: RefDesk O'Neill Last Updated: Mar 23, 2018 Views: 128
Open Access is a way to publish academic articles so that they are:
digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder. (Peter Suber)
Why is it important? In a nutshell, many academic journals are becoming prohibitively expensive, and the restricted access that results is getting in the way of research.
See link below for more information about Open Access at Boston College.