If anybody is looking for a straightforward explanation of open access publishing, you could do worse than look at the PhD TV video on the topic (it lasts just over 8 minutes). This explains the arguments for open access succinctly and clearly, using the same graphic style that Jorge Cham deploys in his weekly Piled Higher and Deeper cartoons in Times Higher Education. It doesn’t go as far as exploring the pros and cons of different open access models, or comment on the UK policy situation (which can be found here). However, it does indicate that, whilst people in the UK are concerned about the implications of adopting open access policies if other countries don’t follow suit, this is obviously a live issue in the US and elsewhere too.
This blog takes no responsibility for the loss of your time if you delve beyond this video into the cartoons on the Piled Higher and Deeper site.