Why Open Access?
Lindsay Blake’s post covers the “what” of Open Access, but where are the benefits for scholars and researchers? What is the incentive to put in the extra bit of effort to pursue an Open Access publication? Why should you care?
To put it simply, Open Access speeds the rate of scientific development. Not only are researchers able to disseminate their works and findings to a wider audience more quickly, but Scholars are given immediate access to the latest discoveries without the roadblocks that subscription or individual article cost can present. Non Open Access journals are also restricted in that many can only be searched through certain databases.
With an Open Access publication, authors as well as the journals have more avenues to pursue for the dissemination of their literature. Authors are able to post their papers on private websites, papers can be listed in repositories and are searchable via Google Scholar (a prime resource for the upcoming generation).
In an Open Access publication authors also maintain more rights and freedoms than with most non-Open Access journals. One of these is the right and ability to retrieve an article you have written without having to pay, unlike most non-Open Access journals. Authors can also retain the copyright of their works when publishing with Open Access. And if an author would like to add their work to an institutional repository, contributing to the overall impact their institution is making on the scholarly world, then Open Access grants them that right.
You can explore which journals are Open Access at DOAJ.org, the directory of Open Access journals. Find out more about Open Access on Thursday, October 24th when Maryska Connolly-Brown will be posting about open access publishing.