Wordvice reporter and editor Andrew Kim assess the merits--and caveats--of submitting scientific research to open access journals.
Online PR News – 02-September-2020 – An important feature of COVID-19, as a subject of scientific research, is that nearly all research on it is free to read. It is easy to dismiss this phenomenon as a temporary response to the pandemic, but its unlikely that everything will go back to being behind journal paywalls. This is because the transition to open access models has been underway decades before the COVID-19 outbreak; the pandemic has simply given the movement a strong boost forward.
This unrestricted access to academic material relevant to COVID-19 is making research on the virus faster and more efficient. But should open-access models be adopted by all journals in the long run? What are the benefits and drawbacks of open access? Here are the main pros and cons of open access as it relates to academic publication.
Studies have shown that authors are more likely to be cited when their articles are more visible. In 2018, nearly 19 million journal articles were open access and those publications earned a minimum 18 percent more citations than their closed access counterparts. This is proof that open access gives studies more exposure, thus allowing them to have a greater impact.
Additionally, under an Open Access CC-BY license, authors own the copyrights to their works. This means an author is free to distribute a given work outside of a single journal, which can further increase a studys exposure.
2.Swift and straightforward publication
3.Access across fields and economic boundaries
Furthermore, open access applies globally. Traditional journals have high paywalls, with some academic subscriptions costing as much as $40,000 for full online access. Such steep prices have not only caused the libraries of even well-established institutions to cancel subscriptions but also makes many articles inaccessible to researchers in developing countries. Open access allows academics to be part of an international scientific discussion regardless of their access to funding.
1.Potential problems with quality assurance
COVID-19 has also led to researchers posting more early-stage research and publishing more preprints, which are full drafts of research papers that are shared publicly before undergoing peer review. This, along with journals making all coronavirus-related research free to read, has made scientific communication faster and more efficient.
2.Can be expensive for authors