This is Open Access Week. Just what is open access and why is it important? Open Access (OA) is scholarly and scientific literature that is online, digital, free, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes this possible is the consent of the author or copyright holder and the internet. OA journals are peer reviewed and the major OA journals in the sciences and scholarly literature insist on peer review. Open access journals are not free to produce, even if it is less expensive than producing a traditional print journal. Authors pay an article processing charge, which some universities have a fund to pay the charge for their faculty members. OA removes restrictions placed on the use of the author’s own work. Authors can share their work on their own terms through the use of a Creative Commons license. There is no charge to the end user to access the article.
Okay so the articles are available online free of charge and are peer reviewed, but what does this mean for students and faculty? First over the past few years, the prices that university libraries have to pay for subscriptions to electronic journals has steadily increased. Many of these journals are only sold in bundles with other journals and can cost several thousands of dollars for a single bundle. The higher prices have meant that some libraries have to make a decision as to which journals to keep subscribing too and which ones to drop. Open access means no subscription fees. Which in turn allows anyone to have access to the journal and its articles. For faculty it means a wider audience and more discoverability, which can lead to more collaboration with other researchers in their field. Students have access to articles that may not have previously been available. Did you know that any research that is federally funded has to have the research results made available to the public free of charge?
Tarleton currently produces four open access journals:
Journal of Social Media in Society
Journal of Effective Schools Project
Texas Journal of Agriculture and Natural Resources
If you would like to know more about Open Access here is a short video.