Challenges to Open Access

As I mentioned in my previous blog, open access is a means of publication that allows free access to scientific journals for libraries, researchers, businesses, and the general public.

The publishing industry has contended that open access will lower the quality of publications by lack of adequate peer review.

Indeed, a few unfortunate recent incidences have occurred that seem to support this contention. Since financing open access often requires authors to pay for publication, some “predatory” online journals have appeared whose sole purpose is to prey on unsuspecting authors eager to publish. The Scholarly Kitchen

A scandal hit an open access journal published by Bentham Science Publishers. They accepted for publication a phony paper that was computer generated.

These incidences could serve as a wake-up call to the open access movement which is now well established. One of the measures of the impact and value of publications is the number of times an article is cited by other researchers. By this measure, open access articles are doing very well.

In 2012, a bill was introduced in Congress that would have repealed the current open access policy by the National Institutes of Health. This bill caused such a groundswell of protests by research organizations, universities, and even many publishers that it had to be withdrawn. (Online Searcher. Vol. 37, No. 2, March/April, 2013.)