How Open Access to Journals Helps Students and Researchers

By SalM on April 14, 2021 in News

Over the past decade, there has been a rising clamour for more accessibility of scholarly journals. Those available in print are subscription based making it challenging for other researchers to access, verify, reproduce, cite or utilise research papers, further resulting in restricting the community from engaging in multiple aspects of research.

With technological advancement, students and researchers no longer have to sift through piles of physical research papers and journals. While the print form of such resources is still relevant in this digital era, online infrastructure has made these resources more accessible. Considering the present crisis, many institutions are setting up repositories or open access platforms to make paywalled research papers accessible across the globe. The Open Access platforms have become a movement around the world.

Increased accessibility

Usually in the publishing industry, ownership of the research work (known as copyright) stays with the publisher. This results in lower accessibility, as scholarly information can be accessed only by paying a subscription fee to the journal. This tends to limit the access of institutions and individuals with fewer funds.

Today, the open access model works differently from the traditional subscription-based model. It makes scholarly information available to the community at no cost. Numerous studies also show that such articles receive greater citations than other publications that are behind the paywall. Many high-tech platforms use the self-archiving mode, also known as Green Open Access, to make paywalled resources available.

According to industry data, around 81% of publishers formally allow some form of self-archiving in Open Access knowledge repositories. Estimates shared by Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), Europe, show that almost35% to 600% increase in citability can be seen by adapting and promoting the usage of Green Open Access.

Lower processing charges

Publishing costs are usually high based on the publisher’s choice and the journal’s reputation. prestige of the journal. Also, articles published exclusively in journals become the sole point of access for readers. This results in a higher cost of subscription for print publications. As per recent estimates, the subscription cost of journals has increased by 250% in the past 30 years.

To overcome the cost barrier, authors are finding better routes to get their research published in journals that require lower or almost zero cost. Open Access platforms integrated with AI are gaining huge popularity due to their publishing models. Since there is no print copy, the entire processing in open access journals is cost-effective. It also eliminates the cost of typesetting, and expenditure on dissemination that benefits authors as well as readers.

Improved visibility

Print publications have comparatively lesser visibility than digital media. One of the biggest contributing factors to increased visibility of open access papers is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Open access papers can be indexed at many platforms with good viewership on the Internet and search engine bots get far more meta data about the article and helps them to rank better for keywords.

Tips to optimise article for wider reach

Authors can add relevant keywords to the abstract and the complete content. This will lead the search engine to use various algorithms and processes to find the article relevant to a particular search query and showcases it on top of the results page.

They should also choose a short, descriptive title for their work that a potential reader can easily find online.

The presence of social media makes sharing research work further adding to its visibility.