International Open Access Week 2018

The International Open Access Week will be celebrated this year from Oct. 22 to 28. Open access is the free and immediate availability of peer-reviewed research articles published online for anyone interested in reading the same. The theme for this year is “Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge.”

Research Should Be Open

Research is carried out for the betterment of mankind and society. The main purpose of research funding is to advance human knowledge and improve the quality of life. A major portion of the money utilized for research is obtained from federal governments. The government, in turn, receives its money from taxpayers. However, the money earned through this process is for the sole benefit of the publication house that publishes the research. Researchers who contribute to the work and put together the research publication do not receive any monetary gains.  Although most of the research carried out is for the good of the people, it is not available to them for free. They still have to pay an exorbitant fee to the publishers to gain access to the research that they have already paid for in the first place.

Therefore, the general consensus is that research should be made available to all interested stakeholders for free.

Challenges Facing Open Access

There are several challenges facing open access. Some of these include predatory publishing, the often high article processing charges that authors needs to pay, the quality of work published, etc. Article processing charges typically range from $1,000 to $3,500. Authors may sometimes find it difficult to pay these hefty charges especially if the charges for open access publishing are not included in the funds received by them. Predatory publishers are fake publishers who publish absolutely any kind of ‘research’ for a nominal price. They provide no editorial review, peer review, or publishing services. This affects the quality of work published in these journals.

You can read more about the challenges that open access faces here.

Open Access Journals, Repositories, and Organizations

Back in 2000, there was only one open access publisher available: BioMed Central. Presently, we have more than 10,000 open access publishers that are available. Some of biggest publishers are PLOS, Springer Open Choice, Wiley, Taylor and Francis, etc. However, there are also predatory publishers that plague this system. Authors must ensure that they do not fall prey to predatory publishing. There are several resources available to help ensure that your work does not get published in a predatory journal. Some useful resources to identify genuine open access journals include the following: Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Directory of Open Access Scholarly Resources (ROAD), Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE), and Enago’s Open Access Journal Finder (OAJF).

Considering the fact that data are increasingly being shared by researchers, several journals now have data policies that require the deposition of research data in data repositories. Data repositories that can be used to deposit and provide free access to others include DRYAD, which was developed by the National Science Foundation to support the deposition of data underlying journal articles being published in ecology, evolution, and other life sciences; and Figshare, which enables researchers to upload data in a variety of formats.

Additionally, there are some notable organizations that advocate and provide an infrastructure for OA publishing. Some of these organizations include SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), which originates from the North American research librarian community, and has been campaigning for authors’ rights over published material; Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), which represents the interests of OA publishers globally in scholarly disciplines; and Authors Alliance, which promotes authorship for the public good by assisting authors who wish to make their research freely accessible.

About Open Access Week 2018

Open Access Week is a global event that has been celebrated annually for the last 10 years. The last week of October is usually celebrated as the Open Access Week. It was initiated in the year 2008 on October 14, which was celebrated as Open Access Day. From 2009 onward, it became a week-long event. An official theme was established after the year 2012. The aim of celebrating Open Access Week is to create awareness, promote understanding, and help implement the open access movement. This year’s theme aims to explore the question of how open systems can be designed to ensure inclusion, equitability, and truly serve the needs of a diverse global community.

Numerous activities are planned to celebrate the Open Access Week. Some of these activities include workshops, seminars, conferences, and webinars. You might want to visit http://www.openaccessweek.org/events to get a list of events happening this year. You can also participate in the Open Access Week by signing up here.

Enago Academy has also organized a webinar to commemorate the celebration of the Open Access Week. Details of this webinar are available here.

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