D.J. McPhee D.J. McPhee18 October 2023 Open Access
open access around the world

Open Access Around the World

Open Access around the world is a movement that aims to make scientific research and data accessible to everyone.

Simply put, some of the goals of Open Access are:

  • Availability and reusability of scientific research for the public;
  • Accessibility and transparency of scientific communication;
  • Facilitating scientific collaboration;
  • Transparency for the methodology, observation, and collection of data.

Additionally, Open Access around the world helps to boost the capabilities of interdisciplinary research. This is key for tackling the most pressing global issues, like climate change. By eliminating the barriers to accessing and producing research, Open Access is helping to ensure that scientific research can reach its potential.

Open Access and countries around the world

How is Open Access around the world handled? Let’s take a look.


There is no formal open science policy or long-term strategy in Brazil. However, Brazil has many initiatives led by public research and education institutions promoting Open Access. After a decade of funding cuts and uncertainty, the government is beginning to refocus on science and education, which will likely lead to the further development of Open Access in Brazil and across Latin America.


Canada is expanding its Open Access policy. Between 2008 and 2015, the Canadian government was expanding its Open Access requirements extensively, but this slowed down. The 2020 Roadmap does, however, seem to reflect a renewed interest in OA policy, likely motivated by the pandemic. The 2020 Roadmap aims to achieve Open Access in Canada by default without an embargo period for federally funded scientific and research outputs. Similarly, Canada’s main funding agencies, which currently have a 12-month embargo period, will require embargo-free Open Access publication by the end of 2025, reflecting the USA’s timeframe. Open Access is a key focus for the Canadian government presently.


Open Access in China continues to grow at a rapid pace. This growth can be attributed to the State’s commitment to research and development and policy “requiring the promotion of open science”. Current laws outline the need for consistency and cooperation across research. Accordingly, the State will be establishing consistent policies across government agencies, especially those related to Open Access, as it pursues “self-reliance”.

European Union

A key part of the EU’s research and innovation strategy revolves around Open Access. Horizon Europe and Plan S are the main components of Open Access in the EU. Firstly, Horizon Europe is a funding programme that aims to encourage collaboration whilst tackling global challenges. Open Access is mandatory for all researchers who receive funding. Plan S, on the other hand, helps to streamline Open Access policy by providing ten guiding principles around copyright, transparency, and criteria, among other things. In 2021, it mandated that all funded research be made Open Access.


Spain, as part of Plan S, aims to support Plan S in the movement towards a research model based on Open Access results and data. In 2023, the Spanish government approved its first national open science strategy. This four-year plan has a €23.8 million annual budget. Its aims include establishing infrastructure and proper management, and ensuring that Open Access in Spain is made the default for publicly funded scientific publications.

United States of America

Since 2011, the percentage of articles written in subscription-only journals has declined in the USA. Open Access in the USA has continued to grow. This growth skyrocketed with the USA government mandating that all US-funded research must be made Open Access by the end of 2025. This reflects the country’s aims to accelerate scientific discovery and lower the barriers of access for all.