Authors are often unsure about publishing their articles in open access journals. This is largely due to some common misconceptions about open access magazines. Here are some common misconceptions:
- Open access journals have a low impact factor: this is one of the most common misconceptions among authors. Many open access journals publish articles that are highly cited and receive high impact factors. For example, Living Reviews in Relativity has an impact factor of 32. In addition, authors should keep in mind that the impact factor is not the most reliable quality indicator of a journal.
- Publication in open access journals is expensive: Authors often avoid publishing in open access journals because they feel they cannot afford the high APC fees. The fact is, though, that not all open access magazines charge APCs, and magazines that usually have APCs listed on their websites. APCs vary from journal to journal and are not always high. In addition, many universities or financial institutions have APCs. Also, open access journals often waive paying for researchers in developing countries and those researchers who are in financial trouble. For example, many Nature Publishing Group journals have an APC waiver policy.
- Open access publishing does not provide copyright protection or credibility for authors: In fact, for many open access journals, such as PLOS or BMJ, authors retain copyright after publication. In addition, most open access journals use Creative Commons licenses, under which authors are always credited when reusing their work.
Open- access for researchers in all disciplines has many benefits
Most journals and repositories do not impose access costs on the reader. Thus, there is no price barriers. Authors are also granted the ability to address a wider audience without the corresponding expenditure, called research impact. The reach of the articles or materials increases tremendously since readers can retrieve it regardless of their economic status or geographical location.
Researchers can immediately share the results of their research not only with others in that community but also with other scientists and ordinary people.
The rapid replication of results not only enlivens similar research but also inspires others to penetrate other areas that may open up as a result. Easy access to research content from all fields stimulates interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research efforts.
Articles tend to have a much bigger impact in the short term compared to “subscription-only” work. The long-term impact is similar, with some studies showing a slightly larger impact for open-access articles.
Free access articles are usually easier to find. In particular, they can be easily accessible when searching and sharing them with others.
In open access articles, research content should not be limited to articles. Any type of digital content including text, images, raw and processed data, audio/video, and software can be part of a digital archive.
Since open access publications are usually less expensive to produce and publish, both journals and publishers can benefit. In some cases, authors have to pay an additional fee for publication. Many traditional publishers have given free access to some of their content, which has increased their visibility and attracted subscribers.
As an early-career researcher, you need to recognize the importance of publishing open access. Science can progress only when immediate, unrestricted access to research is provided. We hope that in the coming years, researchers show more willingness to publish open access so that the scientific community, policymakers, and the general public can benefit from their research.