Sources that provided information for new innovation projects or contributed to the completion of existing innovation projects. They provide access to knowledge without the need to pay for the knowledge itself, although there may be marginal fees for access (membership in trade associations, attendance at conferences, subscriptions to journals). Open information sources do not provide access to knowledge embodied in machinery or equipment or the right to use knowledge protected by patents and other forms of intellectual property, although the knowledge behind the patent can be accessed through patent databases. Some open sources, such as attendance at fairs or exhibitions, can give access to some tacit knowledge through personal interaction with other participants.
Community Innovation Survey 2012: The Harmonized Survey Questionnaire and OECD and Eurostat (2005), Oslo Manual: Guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Innovation Data, §265.