Open access is an alternative to traditional publishing models, making articles and other materials free to read. Open access works on a spectrum. Some examples of this spectrum of open access publishing would be an author making an article available through an institutional repository like Walden Uiversity's ScholarWorks, publishing in an open access journal that provides content free to its readers rather than charging subscription fees, or developing an open textbook available for free to any students or faculty.
Open licensing allows authors to maintain copyright, while giving permission for various non-commercial uses.
Creative Commons is an organization providing standardized open licensing options. Creative commons licensing allows creators to retain copyright, while choosing to allow others to copy, distribute, or manipulate their work.
Before publishing in any journal, open or traditional, check on copyright/licensing options/restrictions to make sure you understand your rights to your material after publication.
The open access movement has expanded beyond making research articles openly available, and is now addressing issues with textbook costs and research transparency.
Textbooks have also been subject to rising costs. With OER, universities and scholars have developed open textbooks, along with other teaching and learning resources, and have made them freely available online, with copyright/licensing that allows open use.
Open data looks at ways to provide access to a variety of materials for open use, including datasets, statistics, transcripts, survey results, etc. Researchers can use this type of information to verify and replicate research results, perform meta-analysis, or otherwise manipulate and extract data.