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Promoting Open Access

Our aim is to improve access to human knowledge. Our grants help make information free for anyone, anywhere to access and use, now and in the future.

Access to knowledge is a fundamental human right. It advances research and innovation, improves decision-making, exposes misinformation and is vital to achieving greater equality and justice. The internet has transformed how we share, find and use information. But some materials that should legally and morally be free for anyone to access are still constrained by paywalls and restrictive copyright regimes.

Our grants help make this important information – including publicly funded research, standards, and laws – available for free online, and help people find and use this information. We do this by supporting direct activism for open access, and by working to improve open access to scholarship and the discoverability of open access content.

Copyright and intellectual property issues

Restrictive copyright laws are a significant barrier to open access. They benefit few, while denying many access to vital knowledge. We support efforts to challenge and improve existing laws, regulations, exceptions and limitations so that people have better access to knowledge they need.

Longform scholarship

Whilst open access to short-form scholarship, such as journal articles, is expanding, open access to longform scholarly works lags behind. Our grants improve access to books by digitizing and providing free online access to in-copyright works.


Free access to information online is not a new thing. Yet, even if the content exists somewhere in an openly available form, it is not necessarily easy to find. Our grants help people find legal, free-to-read versions of content they need.

    • Case Study: 15 September 2020

      Commons Collaborative Archive and Library

      Creative commons case study

      The amount of open access material on the internet is continually growing. Creative Commons allows people to easily share their own material for the benefit of others.

      Programme: Advancing open access
      Focus area: Discoverability
      Grantee: Creative Commons
    • Internet Archive case study

      Despite large-scale digitization projects, much recent scholarship is still only available in print, making it inaccessible to scholars, policy makers and the public.

      Programme: Advancing open access
      Focus area: Monographs
      Grantee: Internet Archive
    • Case Study: 15 September 2020

      Freeing public domain information

      Code is law

      Public.Resource.Org is dedicated to publishing and sharing public domain materials that legally and morally should be free, but are locked behind paywalls.

      Programme: Advancing open access
      Focus area: Intellectual property rights
      Grantee: Public.Resource.Org
    • Dr Ross Mounce
      Director of Open Access Programmes

      Ross manages Arcadia’s open access grants. He was previously a postdoc in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge, a Software Sustainability Fellow, and a Panton Fellow for open data in science. Ross gained his doctorate at the University of Bath, where his thesis focused on the role of morphology in analyses of evolutionary relationships that include fossil species.

      04 Ross Mounce
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