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What is open access publishing?
Full-text scientific and academic material, free of charge, available online as digital content is referred to as open access (OA) publishing. Most OA publications have unrestricted use, and users can use them for any lawful purpose including reading, copying, distributing, downloading, linking, and so on, without prior permission. “A publication is defined ‘open access’ when there are no financial, legal or technical barriers to accessing it—that is to say when anyone can read, download, copy, distribute, print, search for and search within the information, or use it in education or in any other way within the legal agreements” (https://www.openaccess.nl/en/what-is-open-access).
How do I make my research content open access?
As an academic writer, you must first review the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and identify the journal/s you would like to be published in. Review products like Journal Citation Reports and the Master Journal List, which will help you find the right OA journal for your research in the shortest time. As an author you may have to pay a publishing fee unless of course your institution or funder does it for you. Many OA journals apply article publishing charges (APCs) to include editing and peer-reviewing costs, and this is usually their primary source of income generation. Additionally, the journal will use a Creative Commons license for copyright purposes. These licenses vary with regard to reading, downloading, attribution, commercial use, and so on.
What are the challenges of digitizing scholarly content?
As with every medium, there are arguments regarding the challenges of digitization of scholarly content. Authors are concerned about the credibility of OA journals, including a perception regarding inferior quality, which may negatively impact their ability to attract funding. High APCs are challenging to fund for many researchers, especially those from developing countries. The viability of the author-pays model is a recurrent theme along with the total costs of OA publishing vis-à-vis traditional publishing when discussing the challenges in digitization. Time spent in self-archiving their works is another defensible reason cited by authors as a digitization challenge. Finally, the long-term availability of their articles, a lack of confidence about permanency in the digital ecosystem, is a concern often cited by academic writers.
Will my work be saved permanently in open access?
A recurring question plaguing academic authors is that of the perpetuity of their works. All authors want to be assured that their article/research paper will be found online at any point in time. Preservation for posterity is the expectation. This is different from backup and storage. Preserving for posterity involves ensuring that the content and associated metadata are safe and secure and remain usable (despite updates in file formats and technologies) in order to remain accessible.
What are the measures taken by open access journals to preserve your content online?
A critical criterion to receive the DOAJ seal for your content is that the content must carry a long-term digital preservation or archiving program like CLOCKSS or equivalent. This is a best practice and a mandate.
Why should I publish open access?
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the popularity of OA. In a study, support for OA prior to the pandemic was at 72 percent. Since COVID-19 upended the world, support has risen, by 18 percent in 2020. Another report in October 2021 attests to the fact that a third of all global research articles are published as open access, and the strong growth is predicted to continue.
At Amnet, we accelerate digital-first adoption and advance open access publishing. Read more about how we can enable OA for you at https://enableoa.amnet.com/.