Open Access (OA) academic articles comprise all different forms of published research that are distributed online, free of charge and with an open license to facilitate the distribution and reuse. The open access repositories serve as the perfect vehicle to transmit free knowledge, including but not limited to peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed academic journal articles, conference papers, theses, book chapters and monographs. Driven by the problems of social inequality caused by restricting access to academic research, the Open Access movement changes the funding system of published literature allowing for more readers and thus increased access to scientific knowledge, as well as addressing the economic challenges and unsustainability of academic publishing. In addition to being free to read (gratis), open access articles may also be free to use (libre) where the copyright is held by the authors and not the publisher.
Definition by the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ): "We define these as journals where the copyright holder of a scholarly work grants usage rights to others using an open license (Creative Commons or equivalent) allowing for immediate free access to the work and permitting any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose."
Is Open Access a misnomer?
- Floyd L, Stauss M, Woywodt A (2022) Is open access a misnomer? Lancet 399:P1226. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00107-6
- Paywall journalism versus free access - Gnaiger E (2021) Beyond counting papers – a mission and vision for scientific publication. Bioenerg Commun 2021.5. https://doi.org/10.26124/bec:2021-0005
Levels of Open Access
- While there are no legally binding terms, the below are the generally accepted definitions.
- Gold - typically available immediately
- Green - a version* of the manuscript is made available in an open repository, often after an embargo
- Bronze - a publisher may choose to make article freely available (though not obliged), this may be temporary
- *Articles go through many versions; two main ones are: The "version of record" is the copy of the article publishers publish and an "author accepted manuscript" is the final copy submitted to the publisher by the author.
- Hybrid - a subscription journal with an option for "Gold" articles funded by a fee paid by the author (or on their behalf)
- Gold - "Gold" articles funded by a fee paid by the author (or on their behalf)
- Platinum/Diamond - articles are Gold open without fees (journal is institutionally or sponsor supported)
Open Access and Gentle Science
- Published scientific information – largely supported by the society - should be accessible in general, without separation of privileged ‘rich’ institutions and limited access in underdeveloped countries. Open access and open-source initiatives should be supported in the spirit of Gentle Science.
- Open Access publication is available for educational purposes, and is not to be used for any commercial application. This guideline conforms to the principle of Open Access, for world-wide scientific distribution. If this particular Open Access approach may be considered contradictory to some outdated commercial interests of scientific publishers, and if such publishers disagree with the presently proposed approach, we will not provide any further information to such commercially oriented and restricting scientific publishers.
Open Access must emphasize the quality of publications - Quality Open Access Market
- Summarize relevant information on the present state of discussion on 'open access publishing',
- Collect some critical reviews on these sources of information,
- Extend the discussion in the spirit of Gentle Science,
- Generate a comprehensive list on open access publication in mitochondrial physiology, if a conclusion is reached.
Reasons to publish open access
- Mandated by funding body or institution
- Possible citation advantage as more researches will have access to article
- To allow access for practitioners in the field
- To contribute to social progress
Some well-known facts
- Particularly young scientists may be forced to prioritize high-impact publication for securing progress in their career, which then places considerations on open access at a low rank or is very expensive.
- Some open access journals have higher publication fees compared to non-open access journals, to be covered by the authors. This leads to different ratings of 'open'.
- Some scientists complete and publish their theses (PhD and other), without ever facing in their education any discussion on 'open access publication'.
- Some funding bodies with open-access criteria will not cover the article-processing charge of hybrid journals.
- Some libraries have funding available to support open-access publication fees.
- Open Access, but same impact
- THE CLOUDY FUTURE OF SCIENCE PUBLISHING, retrieved from http://www.biotechniques.com (2015-02-18)
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_access; compare: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_science