Purpose – The purpose of this editorial is to highlight the potential challenges and opportunities for information and records managers of the “open access” agenda. This is becoming increasingly high profile not only in the research sector, but also the public sector as a result of a number of key drivers, namely, research funder requirements, regulatory compliance, and the demand for greater openness, transparency and accountability. Design/methodology/approach – The article is a viewpoint informed by the findings from two recent projects directed by the author and on wider conversations and publications. It is not an in-depth analysis of the literature. Findings – The author suggests that the increasing profile and importance of “open access” and “open data” offer new opportunities for information and records managers. They provide technical as well as people challenges and a new context in which information and records managers can apply their expertise. This will be different to the compliance agenda; it will be focused more on economic and competitor advantage. Originality/value – The viewpoint brings together thoughts on the information and records management implications of open access and the potential value and role of records professionals. Its purpose is to stimulate debate and action.