Get the sense of Open Access immediately at Public Library of Science: PLoS.org, "a nonprofit publisher, innovator and advocacy organization." It's an exciting place.
"Top scientists from more than 190 countries around the world have published with PLoS. Among them, 59 Nobel Laureates.Input "Oberlin College" in the PLoS Search box and get 133 results, including this recent paper from Assistant Professor of Biology Aaron Goldman:
"160,000+ peer-reviewed articles are free to access, reuse and redistribute.
Goldman, Aaron David and Laura F. Landweber. "What is a Genome?" PLoS Genetics 12, no. 7 (2016): e1006181.
Here's the really cool part about open access: rather than assigning copyright to the publisher, the authors retain copyright to their created work and grant free use of the material, without a barrier imposed by a subscription fee. This is an amazing transformation in the use of scholarly materials, which had for generations been accessible only to researchers affiliated with libraries who were able to pay the journal subscription. Open access materials are frequently published under the very generous Creative Commons Attribution License.
In the case of Goldman's paper: "Copyright: © 2016 Goldman, Landweber. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited."
Thanks for publishing with PLoS, Professor Goldman!
What do the authors conclude about the definition of a genome? Since it is an open access article, I can copy that conclusion here: ... "the genome as an informational entity, often but not always manifest as DNA, encoding a broad set of functional possibilities that, together with other sources of information, produce and maintain the organism." Read the whole article.