Open Access (OA)

Introduction

Linköping University Electronic Press is an Open Access publisher, which means that authors retain the copyright of their publications and because we use a Creative Commons licensing system, readers may download, read and distribute (non-commercially) a publication as long as they give complete attribution to the authors.

While the concept of open access has been around for many years it is only in the last one or two that it has become a serious alternative for academic publishing. There are three common forms of open access: gold, hybrid and green.

Freely available publications increases citations

  • Open Access means making scientific research publicly available to all on the internet, free of charge and without restriction.
  • Open Access allows anybody to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, and cite full versions of texts without financial or technical barriers (other than those associated with access to the internet), and furthermore to use such texts in any other conceivable legal manner.
  • Articles published with Open Access are generally much more highly read and cited (see the tab References).
  • The authors retains the copyright to their work.
  • The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) and other granting agencies have or are considering making Open Access publishing of work they fund mandatory.
  • Several Swedish Universities have Open Access publishing policies (requiring, where possible, results to be published with Open Access journals) - e.g. Lund and Stockholm Universities.
  • A list of Open Access Journals is available in DOAJ.
  • A large number of commercial publisher (e.g. Elsevier, Taylor and Frances, Springer etc.) allows a compromise: parallel publishing on personal or institutional (non-commercial) web pages (with special conditions) such as LiU-E-Press.
  • The advantages for researchers are undeniable: increased visibility of work, increased citation and increased impact.

Gold Open Access

Gold open access refers to cases where a journal does not require a subscription for readers to have access to articles (BioMed Central journals are well-known examples, but a quite full list can be found at the Directory of Open Access Journals, DOAJ). Instead these journals work under a different business model. In some cases this means that they charge publication fees (these fees are normally around €1000, but vary from €500 to €2500; note that some 50% of open access journals have no publication fees). There has been some critique made against open access journals, particularly those which have publishing fees, that there is a perception that an author can pay to have an article published with little respect to quality. It is possible for this to happen and there are some known operations which have dubious practices but there is also a significant number of top ranked journals which are open access journals: as an author you must do your research into a journal as diligently as you do for subscription-based journals; in both worlds there are good journals and bad ones.

A new concept in journals is the mega journal, i.e. open access journals that take publications in wide range of subject areas, peer review them for scientific rigorousness but not for impact or importance. They are open access journals and usually much quicker to publish than traditional journals. PLoS One is a well-known example, but there are other examples: BMJ Open, Nature's Scientific Reports, Hindawi's ISRN, Sage Open, Open Biology and G3. While Plos One dominates, together they have published some 20 000 articles in the last year. Many are rather new and as such unranked by impact factor, however PloS One has an impact factor of 4.4, which puts it in the top quartile of journals in biology.

If you are thinking of publishing in a new journal, we have put together a checklist to evaluate its potential.

Hybrid Open Access

Virtually all the major subscription-based publishers offer a scheme whereby you can pay them $3000 (or thereabout) to make your article freely available in their otherwise subscription-based operation. As an author, you often receive an offer for this service just after your paper has been accepted for publication. We strongly do not recommend this option. First, the university effectively ends up paying twice for these publications, once as part of a subscription and once by the authors. Secondly, from the authors' perspective, there is relatively little gain in comparison with the rather high price: the publication isn't as visible as other forms of open access and there is no gain in the speed of publication (open access journals tend to be faster to publisher giving authors an "early access" advantage as well as the open access one). However, if you have published with a journal that has an embargo period that is longer than 6 months for parallel publishing and your financing agency requires open access, then hybrid open access is the only alternative.

Reduced Publishing Fees for Publishing Open Access in Some Journals that LiU Library Subscribes to

Publishing one’s research articles open access has become a serious alternative and in the light of VR’s, Formas’, FAS’, RJ’s… OA rules, a requirement in many cases. As a researcher you generally have three alternatives: choose an open access journal (so called Gold Open Access); hybrid open access where you pay a special open access fee for just your article to be made Open Access while you publish with an otherwise subscription journal (virtually all the major publishers offer this type of “service” for most of their journals); parallel publishing (so called Green Open Access, this only works where the journals rules have an embargo period of 6 months or less, from the VR etc. perspective).

Parallel publishing is free, however, the other two options often (Gold OA) or always (hybrid OA) have a publishing fee associated with them. Generally the fee for Gold OA is around 1200 Euro, while for hybrid OA it is consistently $US 2500. As such hybrid OA is not recommended, because it is expensive relative to its value.

LiU does not have a centralized fund as some other universities have to help cover publishing fees, however because of some of the terms of the subscriptions the library has, LiU researchers are entitled to a discounted OA publishing fee for the journals/publishers listed below.

Furthermore, with the Royal Society of Chemistry journals, LiU is entitled to having the OA fee for up to seven articles waived entirely (i.e. the entire subscription amount that LiU pays is redeemable for publishing fees). For the latter it is on a first-come-first-served basis. Contact David Lawrence (david.lawrence@liu.se) for a coupon and instructions.

ISPG (10% discount)

Journal Name Publisher Homepage
Animal Frontiers (Open Access) American Society of Animal Science http://animalfrontiers.fass.org/
Biology Open (Open Access) The Company of Biologists http://bio.biologists.org/
Bone and Joint Research (Open Access) British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery http://bjr.boneandjoint.org.uk/
CBE_Life Sciences Education (Open Access) American Society for Cell Biology http://www.lifescied.org/
Endocrine Connections (Open Access) BioScientifica http://www.endocrineconnections.com/
European Respiratory Review (Open Access) European Respiratory Society http://err.ersjournals.com/
G3: Genes/Genomes/Genetics (Open Access) Genetics Society of America http://www.g3journal.org/

Karger (50% on for their Gold OA journals)

American Chemical Society (LiU falls under their “All ACS publications” category at http://acsopenaccess.org/acs-authorchoice/)

Green Open Access

This is also referred to as parallel publishing, post-print publishing or self-archiving. Articles from some 90% of subscription-based journals can be made freely available via a university website (for those interested in the legality, read the fine print of your copyright transfer agreement, under author's retained rights). Most of the time you must use the authors' last draft and not the publisher's pdf file; sometimes there can be an embargo period. We highly recommend this route to making your work freely available. We can help you with the details, in fact, if you send us (to ep@ep.liu.se.) your last draft of your article (often an MS word file) we will take care of the rest for you.

Turn on the computer speakers!

Pages about Open Access and Scientific Databases

  • DOAJ – Directory of Open Access Journals
  • e-ref – Agriculture, Forestry and Wood and Veterinary Medicine
  • OASIS – Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook highlights developments and initiatives from around the world, with links to diverse additional resources and case studies
  • OpenAccess.se – Vetenskaplig publicering promotes free access on the web and supports Open Access publishing at Swedish Universities and Colleges.
  • PubMed – Over 16 million citations from MEDLINE and links to full text articles
  • Sherpa/Romeo – Publisher copyright policies & self-archiving
  • Sherpa/Juliet – Research Founders demands or recommendations how to make research publications freely available via Open Access publishing.
Open Access Databases
  • Avhandlingar.se, Ph.D. Theses in fulltext.
  • SwePub, Scientific publication at Swedish Universities and colleges.
  • Uppsök, National database with student theses in full text, run by the National Library.
  • Uppsatser.se, Same as Uppsök and gets its information from Uppsök.

References

The Berlin Declaration. Available at Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities pdf-fil icon (2008-10-03)

Budapest Open Access Initiative. Available at Budapest Open Access Initiative (2008-10-03).

Eysenbach, Gunther. “Citation Advantage of Open Access Articles”, PLoS Biology, 4(5): e157, 2006. Available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0040157 (2007-10-22).

Geist, Michael. “Push for Open Access to Research”, BBC, 28 Feb., 2007.  Available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6404429.stm (2007-10-22).

Lawrence, S. “Free Online Availability Substantially Increases a Papers’s Impact”, Nature (411) 521, 2001. Available at http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1038/35079151 (2007-10-22) (Requires subscription).

Sandewall, Erik. “Commentarium on Open Access to Research”, 2006. Available at http://piex.publ.kth.se/coar/ (2007-10-22).

“The effect of open access and downloads ('hits') on citation impact: a bibliography of studies”, The Open Citation Project. Available at http://opcit.eprints.org/oacitation-biblio.html (2007-10-22).