Throughout the publishing world, the term "open access" has many meanings. For ARVO journals, open access means content is both freely available to read and also freely available to reuse. ARVO offers authors the option to select one of two Creative Commons licenses: CC BY-NC-ND (more restrictive) or CC BY (less restrictive).
The CC BY-NC-ND license permits "others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially." (Creative Commons website, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/).
The CC BY license "lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation." Some funding agencies require this license in order to use grant funding for publication.(Creative Commons website, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/).
Although only content published in ARVO journals in 2016 and later is fully open access, all journal content, including back content, is freely available to read. This free access allows for Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS), Journal of Vision (JOV) and Translational Vision Science and Technology (TVST) to be read without going through a library or institution like with subscription journals.
See the open access overview page on the journals site for more information.