Open access (publishing)

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Open access (OA) -- free online access -- can be provided in two ways: open access publishing ("gold OA") and open access self-archiving, by its authors, of non-open-access publications ("green OA").

There are about 20-25,000 peer-reviewed journals in all[1] across all disciplines, countries and languages. About 10 - 15% of them are OA journals, as indexed by the Directory of Open Access Journals (gold OA). Of the more than 10,000 peer-reviewed non-OA journals indexed in the Romeo directory of publisher policies[2] (which includes most of the journals indexed by Thomson/ISI[3]), over 90% endorse some form of author self-archiving (green OA): 62% endorse self-archiving the author's final peer-reviewed draft or "postprint," 29% the pre-refereeing "preprint."[2]

Open access publishing' is the publication of material in such a way that it is available to all potential users without financial or other barriers. An open access publisher is a publisher producing such material. Many types of material can be published in this manner: scholarly journals, known specifically as open access journals, magazines and newsletters, e-text or other e-books (whether scholarly, literary, or recreational), music, fine arts, or any product of intellectual activity. In this context, non-open access distribution is called "toll access" or "subscription access".

Open access can be provided by traditionally-organized publishers, or under other arrangements. With respect to scholarly material, some distribution is carried out by locally organized and subsidized publishers. More normally it is a specialized publisher. Some open access publishers publish only open access material, such as PLoS; some publish open access journals as well as subscription-based material, such as BioMed Central (BMC).

The term has also been used in a wider sense to include publishers of Hybrid open access journals, which provide open access only for some articles, those for which payment is made on behalf of the author. It can similarly be used for publishers of Delayed open access journals, in which the articles are open access only after a period of embargo. Even more loosely, the term is also used to describe publishers that permit or encourage self-archiving by authors and institutions.

The term is most often used in reference to academic journals, where there is active debate on the appropriate distribution model. Most open access material in this context is distributed via the World Wide Web. [4] OA articles usually have limited copyright and licensing restrictions.[citation needed]

The first major international statement on open access[5] was the Budapest Open Access Initiative in February 2002[6]. This provided a definition of open access, and has a growing list of signatories[7]. Two further statements followed: the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing[8] in June 2003 and the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in October 2003.

OA has since become the subject of much discussion amongst researchers, academics, librarians, university administrators, funding agencies, government officials, commercial publishers, and society publishers. Although there is substantial (though not universal) agreement on the concept of OA itself, there is considerable debate and discussion about the economics of funding peer review in open access publishing, and the reliability and economic effects of self-archiving.


[edit] Manner of distribution

Many traditional media such as certain newspapers, television, and radio broadcasts could be considered "open access". These include commercial broadcasting and free newspapers supported by advertising, public broadcasting, and privately funded political advocacy materials.

The modern open access journal movement almost exclusively distributes content over the Internet, due to its low distribution costs, increasing reach, speed, and increasing importance for scholarly communication. Open source software is sometimes used for institutional repositories,[9] open access journal websites,[10] and other aspects of scholarly open access publishing.

Broadcast media require receiving equipment, online content requires Internet access, and locally distributed printed media requires transportation to a distribution point. These distributional considerations do present physical and sometimes financial "barriers" to access, but proponents of the open access model argue that these barriers are relatively low in many circumstances, that efforts should be made to subsidize universal Internet access, or that pay-for-access presents a relatively high additional barrier above and beyond the logistical basics.

[edit] Methods of financing

Advertising is a major source of funding for mass media that do not charge for content, as well as modern web sites and search engines. Public broadcasting relies on government funding and voluntary donations from consumers.

Direct private funding from the author for web hosting is very common on the Internet, and is also a traditional mechanism for wealthy print authors. Non-profit organizations often also freely distribute advocacy materials, and some fund free public art or the production of artistic works.

In scholarly publishing, there are many business models for open access journals. Some charge publication fees (paid by authors or by their funding agencies or employers) and some don't. Some of the no-fee journals have institutional subsidies and some don't. For more detail, see open access journals.

Roughly half [11] of Open Access publications have author fees to cover the cost of publishing (e.g. PLoS fees vary from $1,300-$2,850 [12]) instead of the reader subscription fees. Advertising revenue and/or funding from foundations / institutions are also used to provide the funding[13].

[edit] Authors and researchers

The main reason authors make their articles openly accessible is to maximize their research impact. A study in 2001 first reported an Open Access citation impact advantage[14], and a growing number of studies [15] have confirmed, with varying degrees of methodological rigor, that an open access article is more likely to be used and cited than one behind subscription barriers.[15] For example, a 2006 study in PLoS Biology found that articles published as immediate open access in PNAS were three times more likely to be cited than non-open access papers, and were also cited more than PNAS articles that were only self-archived.[16] Recently, this result has been challenged as possibly due to a quality bias.[17]

Scholars are paid by research funders and/or their universities to do research; the published article is the report of the work they have done, rather than an item for commercial gain. The more the article is used, cited, applied and built upon, the better for research as well as for the researcher's career.[18][19]

Authors who wish to make their work openly accessible have two options. One is to publish in an open access journal. An open access journal may or may not charge a processing fee; open access publishing does not necessarily mean that the author has to pay. Traditionally, many academic journals levied page charges, long before open access became a possibility. When OA journals do charge processing fees, it is the author's employer or research funder who typically pays the fee, not the individual author, and many journals will waive the fee in cases of financial hardship, or for authors in less-developed countries.

The other option is author self-archiving. To find out if a publisher or journal has given its green light to author self-archiving, the author can check the Publisher Copyright Policies and Self-Archiving list[20] on the SHERPA RoMEO web site. To find out by journal, the author can check the EPrints Romeo site[21], which is built on an interpretation of the SHERPA/RoMEO dataset. There is a self-archiving FAQ.[22] A wiki designed to help faculty understand and start doing self-archiving has also been set up by Ari Friedman.[23] Extensive details and links can also be found in the Open Access Archivangelism blog[24] and the Eprints Open Access site.[25]

The idea of open content is related to open access. However, open content is usually defined to include the general permission to modify a given work. Open access refers only to free and unrestricted availability without any further implications. In scientific publishing it is usual to keep an article's content static and to associate it with a fixed author.

While open access is currently focused on scholarly research articles, any content creator who wishes to can share work openly, and decide how to make their content available. Creative Commons provides a number of licenses with which authors may easily indicate which uses are allowed.

[edit] Users

For the most part, the direct users of research articles are other researchers. Open access helps researchers as readers by opening up access to articles that their libraries do not subscribe to. One of the great beneficiaries of open access may be users in developing countries, where there are currently some universities with no journal subscriptions at all[citation needed] - although schemes exist for providing subscription-only scientific publications to those affiliated to institutions in developing countries at little or no cost.[26]. All researchers benefit from OA as no library can afford to subscribe to every scientific journal and most can only afford a small fraction of them, this is known as the serials crisis".[27]

Open access extends the reach of research beyond its immediate academic circle. An OA article can be read by anyone - a professional in the field, a researcher in another field, a journalist, a politician or civil servant, or an interested hobbyist. Indeed, a 2008 study revealed that mental health professionals are roughly twice as likely to read a relevant article if it is freely available.[28]

The Directory of Open Access Journals lists a number of peer-reviewed open access journals for browsing and searching. Open J-Gate [29] is another index of articles published in English language OA journals, peer reviewed and otherwise, which launched in 2006. Open access articles can also often be found with a web search, using any general search engine or those specialized for the scholarly/scientific literature, such as OAIster and Google Scholar. Results may include preprints that have not yet been peer reviewed, or gray literature that will remain unreviewed.

[edit] Research funders and universities

Research funding agencies and universities want to ensure that the research they fund and support in various ways has the greatest possible research impact.

Research funders are beginning to expect open access to the research they support. Seventeen of them (including 5 of the 7 UK Research Councils[30]) have already adopted Green OA self-archiving mandates, and four more (including two in the US) have proposed to adopt mandates[31].

Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council,[32] which made a commitment to open access in October 2004 has not yet adopted or proposed a mandate but the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) proposed a mandate in 2006 and adopted it in September 2007[33], the first North American public research funder to do so.

The new U.S. National Institutes of Health's Public Access Policy will take effect in April 2008 and states that "all articles arising from NIH funds must be submitted to PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication"[34] It stipulates self-archiving in PubMed Central rather than in the author's own institutional repository, which some consider a strength and others a weakness.

The Wellcome Trust's Position Statement in Support of Open and Unrestricted Access to Published Research from 2006 requires that "outputs from all Wellcome Trust-funded grants must be made freely available via PubMed Central (PMC) - or UK PubMed Central once established - as soon as possible, and in any event no later than six months after publication".[35] It "will provide grantholders with additional funding, through their institutions, to cover open access charges, where appropriate, in order to meet the Trust's requirements.[36]

In March, 2006, The Howard Hughes Foundation announced its agreement with the publisher Elsevier, to pay a negotiated rate for 6-month embargoed access to all articles from scientists supported from that foundation in all Elsevier titles, including Cell Press. [37].

A growing number of universities are providing institutional repositories in which their researchers can deposit their published articles. Eleven individual universities and 3 departments have already adapted self-archiving mandates and 2 further multi-university mandates (in Europe and Brazil) have been proposed. Eprints maintains a Registry of OA Repository Material Archiving Policies (ROARMAP).[38]

In May 2005, 16 major Dutch universities cooperatively launched DAREnet, the Digital Academic Repositories, making over 47,000 research papers available to anyone with internet access. The repository now holds in excess of 69,000 articles [39].

In April 2006, the European Commission[40] recommended:

  • EC Recommendation A1 : "Research funding agencies... should [e]stablish a European policy mandating published articles arising from EC-funded research to be available after a given time period in open access archives..."
    (This recommendation has since been updated and strengthened by the European Research Advisory Board (EURAB)) The signatures to a petition in its support are approaching 20,000 individuals and 1000 institutions.)

In May 2006, the US Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) was proposed toward improving the NIH Public Access Policy. Besides points about making open access mandatory, to which the NIH complied in 2008, it argues to extend self-archiving to the full spectrum of major US-funded research. In addition, the FRPAA would no longer stipulate that the self-archiving must be central: the deposit can now be in the author's own Institutional Repository (IR). To somewhat improve on the EC's (and FRPAA's) allowable embargo (of up to 6 months), EURAB has revised the mandate: all articles must be deposited immediately upon acceptance: the allowable delay applies only to the time when access to the deposit must be made Open Access rather than to the time when it must be deposited. This is intended to permit individual users to use an eprint request "email eprint" button found on some archives to send a semi-automatic email message to the author requesting an individual eprint during the embargo period: This is not Open Access, but in the view of at least some advocates it provides for some needs during any embargo, and might help hasten the demise of embargoes altogether, while facilitating the adoption of self-archiving mandates by funders and universities.

[edit] Public and advocacy

Open access to scholarly research is argued to be important to the public for a number of reasons. One of the arguments for public access to the scholarly literature is that most of it is paid for by taxpayers, who therefore have a right to access the results of what they have funded. This is one of the primary reasons for the creation of advocacy groups such as The Alliance for Taxpayer Access in the US.[41] Some examples of people might wish to read scholarly literature include, individuals or family members of someone with a medical condition, serious hobbist or 'amateur' scholars that they may be interested in specialized scientific literature (e.g. amateur astronomers), additionally professionals in many fields may be interested in continuing education in the research literature of their field and many businesses and academic institutions cannot afford to purchase articles from or subscriptions to all or many of the research literature that published under a toll access model.

Even those who do not read scholarly articles benefit indirectly from open access[42]. For example, patients benefit when their doctor and other health care professionals have access to the latest research. As argued by open access advocates, open access speeds research progress, productivity, and knowledge translation [5]. Every researcher in the world can read an article, not just those whose library can afford to subscribe to the particular journal in which it appears. Faster discoveries benefit everyone. High school and junior college students can gain the information literacy skills critical for the knowledge age. Critics of the various open access initiatives point out that there is little evidence that a significant amount of scientific literature is currently unavailable to those who would benefit from it. While no library has subscriptions to every journal that might be of benefit, virtually all published research can be acquired via interlibrary loan.

Due to the benefits of open access, many governments are considering whether to mandate open access to publicly funded research. However, some organizations representing publishers, such as the DC Principles group in the United States, feel that such mandates are an unwarranted governmental intrusion in the publishing marketplace. Lobbying on both sides is fierce, both for pro-OA and contra-OA.

In developing nations, open access archiving and publishing acquires a unique importance. Scientists, health care professionals, and institutions in developing nations often do not have the capital necessary to access scholarly literature, although schemes exist to give them access for little or no cost. Among the most important is HINARI,[43] the Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative, sponsored by the World Health Organization.

Many open access projects involve international collaboration. For example the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SCIELO),[44] is a comprehensive approach to full open access journal publishing, involving a number of Latin American countries. Bioline International, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping publishers in developing countries is a collaboration of people in the UK, Canada, and Brazil; the Bioline International Software is used around the world. Research Papers in Economics (RePEc), is a collaborative effort of over 100 volunteers in 45 countries. The Public Knowledge Project in Canada developed the open source publishing software Open Journal Systems (OJS), which is now in use around the world, for example by the African Journals Online[45] group, and one of the most active development groups is Portuguese.

[edit] Libraries and librarians

Many librarians have been vocal and active advocates of open access. These librarians believe that open access promises to remove both the price barriers and the permission barriers that undermine library efforts to provide access to the journal literature.[46], see also the Serials crisis. Many library associations have either signed major open access declarations, or created their own. For example, the Canadian Library Association endorsed a Resolution on Open Access in June 2005.[47] Librarians also educate faculty, administrators, and others about the benefits of open access. For example, the Association of College and Research Libraries of the American Library Association has developed a Scholarly Communications Toolkit.[48] The Association of Research Libraries has documented the need for increased access to scholarly information, and was a leading founder of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).[49]

At most universities, the library houses the institutional repository, which provides free access to scholarly work of the university's faculty. Some open access advocates believe that institutional repositories will play a very important role in responding to open access mandates from funders[50]. The Canadian Association of Research Libraries has a program[51] to develop institutional repositories at all Canadian university libraries.

An increasing number of libraries provide hosting services for open access journals. A recent survey by the Association of Research Libraries [52] found that 65% of surveyed libraries either are involved in journal publishing, or are planning to become involved in the very near future.

[edit] History

The roots of the concept of open access can be found in the distant past, from the very beginnings of publishing, re-emerging with every innovation in publishing technology. The printing press allowed the written word to be printed and distributed, thereby extending literacy to the population at large. Moving from vellum to paper made it possible to print more cheaply. The invention of the postal system provided a means of widespread distribution.

The beginnings of the scholarly journal were a way of expanding low-cost access to scholarly findings. Many individuals anticipated the open access concept long before modern low-cost distribution methods. One early proponent was the physicist Leo Szilard. To help stem the flood of low-quality publications, he jokingly suggested in the 1940s that at the beginning of his career each scientist should be issued with 100 vouchers to pay for his papers. The Common Knowledge project was an attempt to share information for the good of all, the brainchild of Brower Murphy, formerly of The Library Corporation. Brower and Common Knowledge are recognised in the Library Microcomputer Hall of Fame.[53]

Probably the earliest book publisher to provide open access was the National Academies Press, publisher for the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, and other arms of the National Academies. They have provided free online full-text editions of their books alongside priced, printed editions since 1994, and assert that the online editions promote sales of the print editions. As of June 2006 they had more than 3,600 books up online for browsing, searching, and reading.

An explosion of interest and activity in open access journals has occurred since the 1990s, largely due to the widespread availability of Internet access. This has been called a social movement dedicated to the cause of the open access.

[edit] Criticism

Opponents of the open access model assert that the pay-for-access model is necessary to ensure that the publisher is adequately compensated for their work. Scholarly journal publishers that support pay-for-access claim that the "gatekeeper" role they play, maintaining a scholarly reputation, arranging for peer review, and editing and indexing articles, require economic resources that are not supplied under an open access model, though acknowledging that open access journals do provide peer review. The cost of paper publication may also make open access to paper copies infeasible. Opponents claim that open access is not necessary to ensure fair access to developing nations; differential pricing, or financial aid from developed countries or institutions can make access to proprietary journals affordable. Conventional journal publishers may also lose customers to open access publishers who compete with them. The Partnership for Research Integrity in Science and Medicine (PRISM), a lobbying organization formed by the Association of American Publishers (AAP), is opposed to the open access movement. [6] PRISM and AAP have lobbied against the increasing trend amongst funding organizations to require open publication, describing it as "government interference" and a threat to peer review. [7]

Textbook publishers generally make an even greater investment in the editing process, and electronic textbooks have yet to become widely accepted. For researchers, publishing an article describing novel results in a reputable scientific journal usually does more to enhance one's reputation among scientific peers, and advance one's academic career. Journal article authors are generally not directly financially compensated for their work beyond their institutional salaries and the indirect benefits that an enhanced reputation provides in terms of institutional funding, job offers, and peer collaboration. It could be argued, then, that the financial reward from writing a successful textbook is an important motivating factor, without which the quality and quantity of available textbooks would decrease.

There are those who think[who?] that open access is unnecessary or even harmful. It has been argued[who?] that there is no need for those outside major academic institutions to have access to primary publications, at least in some fields. [54]

The open access model shifts the payment burden from users to publishers, which creates a new set of concerns. Budgets for many academic institutions and libraries may not include funding for the "article processing charges" required to publish in many open access journals, e.g. those published by BioMed Central [8]. Unless steps are taken to address this issue, such as offering discounts to authors from countries with low incomes, high article processing charges risk excluding authors from developing countries or less well-funded research fields from publishing in open access journals. Self-archiving has been proposed as an alternative model.

Outside of science and academia, it is unusual for producers of creative output to be financially compensated on anything other than a pay-for-access model. (Notable exceptions include open source software and public broadcasting.) Successful writers, for example, support themselves by the revenues generated by people purchasing copies of their works; publishing houses are able to finance the publication of new authors based on anticipated revenues from sales of those that are successful. Opponents of open access would argue that without direct financial compensation via pay-for-access, many authors would be unable to afford to write, though some would accept the economic hardship of holding down a day job while continuing to write as a "labor of love".

In the entertainment industry, it is argued that, unlike science, there is no pressing social need for widespread and barrier-free access to the content.

A study published in the British Medical Journal[55] disputes the claim that open access articles equal more citations. In the study, researchers from Cornell University randomly made some journal articles freely available while keeping others available by subscription only in order to determine whether increased access to journal articles results in more article downloads and citations. They found, in an interim analysis, that in the first year after the articles were published, open-access articles were downloaded more but were no more likely to be cited than subscription-based articles.[56] However, many responses to the paper argue that the interim analysis was premature.[57]

[edit] Bibliography of empirical studies on open access

(See also the Bibliography of Findings on the Open Access Impact Advantage)

[edit] See also

[edit] Open access publishers

[edit] Movements

[edit] Projects and publishers

See List of open access projects.

[edit] Related types of content

[edit] References

  1. ^ - The Global Source for Periodicals
  2. ^ a b Journal Policies - Summary Statistics So Far
  3. ^ Web of Knowledge - ISI Web of Knowledge
  4. ^ Peter Suber, Open Access Overview (definition, introduction)
  5. ^ Budapest Open Access Initiative
  6. ^ Budapest Open Access Initiative, FAQ
  7. ^ Budapest Open Access Initiative
  8. ^ Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing
  9. ^ Budapest Open Access Initiative
  10. ^ Open Journal Systems | Public Knowledge Project
  11. ^ “Open Access Overview”, Peter Suber, June 19, 2007
  12. ^ Publication Fees for PLoS Journals
  13. ^ Open access
  14. ^ Online or Invisible? Steve Lawrence; NEC Research Institute
  15. ^ a b Effect of open access on citation impact: a bibliography of studies
  16. ^ Eysenbach G (2006). PLoS Biology - Citation Advantage of Open Access Articles. PLoS Biol 4(5): e157 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0040157
  17. ^ [1].
  18. ^ Maximising the Return on the UK's Public Investment in Research - Open Access Archivangelism
  19. ^
  20. ^ SHERPA/RoMEO - Publisher copyright policies & self-archiving
  21. ^ Journal Policies - Self-Archiving Policy By Journal
  22. ^ Self-Archiving FAQ
  23. ^ [2]
  24. ^ Open Access Archivangelism
  25. ^ Open Access
  26. ^ [3]
  27. ^ Periodicals Price Survey 2005: Choosing Sides - 4/15/2005 - Library Journal
  28. ^ Diffusion of Treatment Research: Does Open Access Matter?
  29. ^ World's biggest Open Access English Language Journals Portal - OPEN J-Gate
  30. ^ Access to Research Outputs
  31. ^ Roarmap
  32. ^ SSHRC/CRSH - Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council / Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines
  33. ^ OA Self-Archiving Policy: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  34. ^ Public Access Homepage
  35. ^ Update: Open access reminder
  36. ^ Policy
  37. ^ Hughes Institute's Deal With Elsevier Will Open Up Access to Its Researchers' Work
  38. ^ Roarmap
  39. ^ Dutch academics declare research free-for-all
  40. ^ Study on the Economic and Technical Evolution of the Scientific Publication Markets in Europe
  41. ^ ATA | The Alliance for Taxpayer Access
  42. ^ [4]
  43. ^ WHO | Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative
  44. ^ SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online
  45. ^ AJOL - African Journals Online :: African Research, Journals, Medical Research
  46. ^ Peter Suber, "Introduction to Open Access for Librarians"
  47. ^ Mailing List Archive
  48. ^ ALA | Scholarly Communication Toolkit
  49. ^ SPARC
  50. ^ How To Integrate University and Funder Open Access Mandates
  51. ^ CARL - Online Resource Portal
  52. ^ Peter Suber, Open Access News
  53. ^ WLN: Library Microcomputer Hall of Fame
  54. ^ DLIST - Open Access: What Comes Next
  55. ^ Open access publishing, article downloads, and citations: randomised controlled trial BMJ 2008(31 July);337:a568
  56. ^ Free Articles Get Read but Don't Generate More Citations Newswise, Retrieved on July 31, 2008.
  57. ^ Rapid Responses to BMJ 2008;337:a568

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