Open Access means making scholarly research available online to the public to read and use free of charge and with as few restrictions as possible.
Publishing in Open Access journals is one way of making your research Open Access; this is known as Gold OA. Most OA journals undergo a peer review process equivalent to the process used for subscription journals. Many are free to the author, relying on ad revenue and sponsorship, while others may charge author fees to offset the costs of production.
Repositories, database systems that can house research articles, data sets, and other scholarly work, may be associated with a particular research institution or academic discipline. Archiving in repositories (referred to as "self-archiving") is one route to Open Access, known as Green OA.
Publication agreements often require authors to give up all or many of their intellectual property rights. This may limit your ability to legally distribute or reuse your work. However, these resources can help you understand basic copyright and work with publishers to retain as many of your rights as possible.