Open Access (OA) aims to provide unrestricted access to scholarly and scientific research outputs  online through two broad avenues - i) Open Access Self-Archiving and ii) Open Access Publishing, referred to as Green OA and  Gold OA respectively. To facilitate unrestricted access to scholarly and scientific research it has been important to lobby support from individual researchers and institutions and seek their commitment to open access mandates.

To date a lot of organisations have embraced the concept of OA and are sharing knowledge through creating OA repositories and mandating that their research outputs be made public. However, continuous accessibility of information held in these repositories need to be guaranteed in spite of the technological changes. The Open Access Initiative mandates implementing accepted metadata and interoperable standards that facilitates easy sharing and continuous accessibility of repository contents.

In the same spirit of openness, there has been a similar movement to liberate data and make it available to everyone to freely reuse and re-publish as they wish without legal restrictions; referred to as Open Data. Against this background, the commitment of stakeholders in Agriculture to openness was well captured in the Interim Proceedings of International Expert Consultation on “Building the CIARD Framework for Data and Information Sharing” held in Beijing, 2011 which highlighted the importance of global activity towards more effective and efficient sharing of Agriculture research-related data and information. The expert consultation also encouraged easier accessibility to open knowledge through sharing of open data sets and linking open repositories.

This section provides a reference lists of selected open access and open data resources - a useful list in getting started with open access.