Open Access, unrestricted online access to published results of research and development, is a viable and full-blown alternative to the traditional pay-for-view way of publishing. Open Access also means:
- faster dissemination of information
- visibility for scientist and institution
- reinforcement of the impact of the publication
- more ways to evaluate results of research and development
- immediate spread of the research
- faster and stronger feedback from readers - e-prints are quickly accessible to anyone
- in fact does increase probability of plagiarism, on the contrary the detection of plagiarism is easier (every repository shows the date of publication
- repository metrics show current and precise number of visits and downloads for each document. [Rygelová, 2010]
Open Access as an alternative
Research and publishing are the core activities of every university. Regular monitoring of information from a given field, filling out grant applications, research activities, publishing and awaiting the impact and citations - a process very well known to every researcher.
Traditional publication process is based on the relationship between author and the publisher. The author is delegating some of his rights to the publisher, primarily the right to unlimited dissemination of the text.
As an alternative to the traditional process the Open Access emerged. This model allows saving of manuscripts or e-prints which are accepted for publishing, in institutional or specialised repositories where they are freely accessible. The Open Access way is economicaly, technicaly and legaly a feasible alternative to traditional publishing. Open Access brings not only unrestricted access to scientific information but also higher research impact through higher citing rates. Open Access opens brings new opportunities to researchers but also institutions. [Rygelová, 2010].
Information when you need it?
Researcher needs current literature and information sources. But relevant information is mostly accessible only after paying a fee or subscription to a journal. So the researcher turns to his library to access the source for him. However libraries cannot maintain access to all information sources because of their limited budget thus some information might not be available when the researcher needs it. [Rygelová, 2010].
Often we get the reaction that Open Access journal cannot maintain the same level of prestige as the traditional journals. Here are some arguments disproving these claims.
Open Access journals:
- provide traditional peer review
- are financed by their founder, sponsors or authors
- provide their publications for free to anyone interested
- the best have high impact factor (just as the traditional journals) [Rygelová, 2010]
Freely accessible, more often cited
Current legislation enforces researchers to publish the results of their research. Publishing fosters advance in science but it is also a measure for assessing the success of a researcher or his institution. It is in the interest of a researcher to publish his findings in as prestige journal as possible in order to reach broad public. After the publication the researcher is measuring his impact in the scientific community. Nowadays the impact is measured with citations. The more citations, the more impact, the more funding. It was many times proven that papers whose manuscipts has been published are being cited more often than papers whose manuscripts were not published [Rygelová, 2010].
Open Access is an alternative to the traditional publication industry but these are not standing in direct opposition. Open access is more of a complement to the dissemination of scientific findings and it is not disrupting the position of research journals' publishers. In the economic perspective open access fosters the healthy competitive environment in the publishing industry. It opens new ways of disseminating scientific information in the virtual environment of the internet [Rygelová, 2010].
This text is based on the booklet: Rygelová, Pavla. Otevřený přístup: Jak zviditelnit výsledky své vědecké práce. Ostrava: VŠB-TUO, 2010. 12 s. Dostupné na: http://dspace.vsb.cz/bitstream/handle/10084/78280/OpenAccess-brozura.pdf?sequence=1
For more information about Open Access see: