Under the traditional model for scholarly publishing, scholars perform research and give their work to publishers, who reproduce the work and then sell it to libraries. Libraries then provide access to information resources for scholars and students. This model developed over centuries of scholarly communication and the ability to disseminate research was essentially restricted by technological and legal barriers to easy reproduction.
Today, advances in digital technologies have revolutionized the way scholarship is produced, evaluated, distributed, and preserved. These technologies have the potential to spread knowledge father, faster, and cheaper, maximizing the impact of research and benefiting people throughout the world. Some publishers are sticking to the old models of distribution and continue to limit access to those who can afford to pay. However, these technologies enable new models, including digital publishing, digital repositories, and open access journals that can maximize the spread and impact of our scholarship. Likewise, the creative common license is a way for creators to encourage access, use, and reuse of their works.