Abstract : •In 25 years, open access, i.e. free and unrestricted access to scientific information, has become a significant part of scientific communication. However, its success story should not conceal a fundamental change of its nature.
•Open access started, together with the Web, at the grassroots, as a bottom-up, community-driven model of open journals and repositories. Today the key driving forces are no longer community-driven needs and objectives but commercial, institutional and political interests.
•This development serves the needs of the scientific community insofar as more and more content becomes available through open journals and repositories. Yet, the fall of open access as a community-driven model is running the risk of becoming dysfunctional for the scientists and may create new barriers and digital divides.