New symbol to denote true open access (e.g. to scholarly literature), analogous to the copyright symbol

Jan Velterop velterop at
Fri Mar 21 06:14:50 CDT 2014

May I propose a new Unicode symbol to denote true open access, for instance applied to scholarly literature, in a similar way that © and ® denote copyright and registered trademarks respectively? The proposed symbol is an encircled lower case letter a, in particular in a font where the a has a 'tail', as in a font like Arial, for instance, and not as in a font like Century Gothic.

A sketch of what I have in mind is here:

The intended use would be for documents and images that have been published with so-called BOAI-compliant open access (, meaning that all reuse is permitted, with the only permissible condition that the author(s) should be acknowledged (CC_BY licence: This condition would not be mandatory, and also public domain, CC-0 licences would be denoted by the proposed symbol (

I am seeking comments and support for this proposal.

Jan Velterop

More information about the Unicode mailing list