You may have heard the term open access and are wondering what it means and how it affects you. Open access refers to literature that is free of charge, so there are no subscriptions or fees to view articles. An important aspect of open access is that scholarly research results are immediately available to interested users. Also, this type of literature does not contain most copyright and licensing limitations that are evident in conventional journals.
What are the benefits of open access information?
- Larger audience for authors and an increase in the impact of their research
- Readers are able to access information for their own research
- Anyone can access the information regardless of university affiliation
- No need to pay for distribution rights for content that you have previously created for your courses
Open Access Myths (from the UNC Open Access and Scholarly Communications LibGuide)
Myth: Articles in Open Access journals are not peer-reviewed, are of lower quality, and are the equivalent of self-publication.
- There is some scholarly debate over whether Open Access increases citation counts. There is also ongoing debate over whether citation counts should be the only measure of research impact.
- Judge the quality of Open Access journals and articles the same way you would any other, by reading the content.
- Consider the impact of Open Access articles’ demonstrated increased usage when you choose where to publish.
Myth: Open Access is just a way for libraries to save money by shifting the cost of scholarly publications to authors and funding agencies.
- The price to purchase scholarly publications has increased well beyond inflation for more than a decade. Library budgets are stressed, but librarians do not promote Open Access as a solution to a budget crisis. They promote Open Access as a new publication model that fosters increased access to research information. In fact, a number of libraries have followed the example established by UNC-CH and set up funds to help pay Open Access author fees.
Myth: Faculty can freely use their own published content in courses they teach.
- This is often not true. If you transferred your copyright to the publisher at the time of publication, as most authors do, the publisher may restrict your right to re-use the content in teaching and publication.
- Publish in an Open Access publication so that everyone immediately and always has free access to your work
- Or publish in a journal that allows you to retain the rights you need to re-use your own work in teaching and publication
- Or negotiate the specific rights that you need at the time of publication.
For more myths: http://guides.hsl.unc.edu/content.php?pid=121319&sid=1304741
To learn additional information on Open Access and its’ impact visit the following URL: http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/overview.htm
Check out ECU’s Scholarly Communication LibGuide to see how we are involved: http://libguides.ecu.edu/scholarly_communication