Open access is related to the criticism that arose regarding the process of scholarly publishing by publishers of scholarly journals. Although this medium has been the means of communication between scholars for centuries, the arrival of the Internet in combination with growing dissatisfaction in the following areas led to the open access movement:
Slow publication process, in which it could take an incredibly long time before an article was published, which meant that it may already be outdated by the time of publication.
The sharply rising subscription costs of the big publishers who gradually acquired a monopoly through fusions and takeovers. It sometimes went so far that universities could not access the publications of their own scholars because the universities did not have a subscription to that specific journal.
These two aspects led to a situation in which scholars worldwide could not share each other's findings optimally, whereas journals are supposed to foster scholarly communication.