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Is the open access publishing practice good for early-career researchers (ECRs)?
It is already an established fact that greater access to research journals can contribute to innovation and the greater good of society. This is why open access (OA) has been gaining popularity within journal publishing; it breaks down conventional boundaries and limitations, providing a more level playing field. This is especially significant for early-career researchers (ECRs), who are striving hard to make their voices heard and advance their career aspirations.
There are studies that have found that OA publishing is preferred among ECRs because it offers the ability to publish in journals freely and accelerate discovery. It also promotes a more equitable platform for knowledge sharing and development through collaborative networks.
Conventional versus OA research publishing
While there are several pros and cons to OA, we have highlighted two primary reasons why you may want to choose OA.
- Shorter wait time: In traditional publishing there is usually a long wait time after the submission of the research paper. This is typically due to the peer review process, where reviewers may take a long time to submit their feedback because of their schedule. This is the main factor that contributes to the long publication wait times, which can be quite long in some cases. OA, on the other hand, completely eliminates this wait time, making it an increasingly attractive option for ECRs to publish their papers.
- Better visibility: There are several studies proving that journals published using OA have a higher number of views and downloads, and there is also an increase in citations by 18 percent as compared to those published traditionally. It is therefore evident that publications in OA journals tend to get higher visibility than in traditional publishing, and a higher number of citations also adds value to the paper.
Being aware of the risks of OA publishing
Like with any other concept or solution, there are certain risks associated with OA research publishing as well. However, they do not in any way override the advantages OA brings to the journal publishing landscape. As ECRs, it is important to be aware of the weaknesses of OA publishing so that it gets easier to navigate through them and realize OA’s potential. Since OA has open repositories, data security is one of the primary risks present. The other is that there are no set procedures/mandates for peer reviews. However, as OA continues to proliferate the research and academics landscape, efforts are being made to establish institutional open access mandates and OA publishing practices to address the risks involved in this process.
Choosing the right platform
Considering the number of benefits OA offers, the risks do not dilute its effectiveness. For ECRs, the best practice would be to review every aspect of a journal, go through the mandates, and weigh all the options and formats. This will help them make an informed choice when it comes to choosing the right OA platform.
Amnet, in partnership with the Coko Foundation, offers next-generation OA publishing solutions that promise to optimize publishing, extend reach, and facilitate better knowledge sharing and collaboration.