The paper reviews recent studies that evaluate the impact of open access on the behavior of scientists as authors, readers, and citers in developed and developing nations. The paper is a critical review of the literature, with systematic description of key studies. Researchers report that their access to the scientific literature is generally good and improving. There is clear evidence that free access increases the number of article downloads, although its impact on article citations is not clear. Recent studies provide little evidence to support the idea that there is a crisis in access to the scholarly literature. Further research is needed to investigate whether free access is making a difference in non-research contexts and to better understand the dissemination of scientific literature through peer-to-peer networks and other informal mechanisms.
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