The advent of the internet ushered in an age of easy information access. It does not take much savvy to find what you are looking for online. In reality, parsing out the reliable and accurate information is arguably the greatest challenge when anyone and everyone can send their ideas out on the World Wide Web.
The concept of open access publishing launches from the platform that information should be free and accessible. OA in the educational setting establishes a forum for providing peer-reviewed research and journals, books and other academic materials online and free of charge. Not only are traditional publishers, such as Bentham Science Open, embracing the concept, so are both public and private universities.
The Benefits of OA Publishing
The costs associated with traditional subscription publications have seen substantial increases over the years. Many universities, including Harvard, have balked at the annual subscription price hikes. For some, the fees are cost-prohibitive. In addition, for those who need information from sources not covered in their university’s subscriptions, paying for individual articles can become exceedingly expensive.
Open access scholarly work provides three primary benefits:
- Without paywall restrictions, anyone can access scholarly information.
- Open access increases researcher and institution visibility, as more users access the content.
- With higher readership rates, the potential impact of the work is greater.
Furthermore, providing unrestricted access to scholarly work is viewed along the same lines as open-source coding and software in that society, as a whole, benefits. A number of companies, Bentham Open, for example, that publish scientific works are beginning to move towards a hybrid model where at least some of their content is OA.
The Future of Academic Publishing
The debate currently surrounding OA is not likely to disappear any time soon. There is little doubt, however, that OA is here to stay and that universities will continue the trend towards embracing publishing companies that offer open access content over subscriptions.