Open Access Week 2017: What You Need to Know About OA

October 23 – 27 is Open Access Week 2017! Open Access Week is a global event promoting (1) the open access to information, (2)  immediate and free online access to the results of scholarly research, and (3) the right to use and re-use those results  as needed. This Open Access Week we’re reposting an introduction to open access, originally posted on our blog in October 2015.

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Open Access Week: October 24-30th, 2016

Editor’s Note:  Today we are pleased to bring you the following post from guest blogger, Sarah Norris, Scholarly Communications Librarian at UCF. Sarah is the University Libraries’ resident expert in all things related to scholarly communication and open access outreach efforts. You can find out more about Sarah, including her contact information, on the UCF Libraries page.

The 9th Annual International Open Access Week will take place October 24-30, 2016. But what is Open Access? How does it apply to you? In this post, we will look at what Open Access is and how you can advocate for Open Access publishing options as authors and use Open Access materials as researchers.

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Open Access Week and Predatory Publishers

120x600October 20-26, 2014 was Open Access Week, a global effort, now in its eighth year, to promote the free, immediate, online access to scholarly knowledge. Open Access is the practice of making published scholarly research available online for free. To further this end, there are many open access journals in existence to which authors could consider submitting their work.

Authors can participate in open access by either submitting their work to an open access repository (known as the “green” path to open access) like PubMed Central, or by publishing in an open access journal (known as the “gold” path to open access). Some of these journals charge authors a fee in order to publish their work. Some of these fees can be outrageously high, as publishers try to take advantage of authors wanting to make their work available. The blog, Scholarly Open Access, has compiled a list of such so-called predatory publishers. A list of inclusion criteria is also provided.

Authors should be wary when submitting their work of publishers who, among other things:

  •  depend on author fees as their own means of operating and sustaining their journal;
  • do not identify a formal editorial or review board;
  • provide no academic information regarding the editor, editorial staff, and/or review board;
  • are not listed in standard periodical directories or library databases;
  • publish journals that are too broad – often done to attract a greater number of articles and thus bring in more revenue through author fees;
  • do minimal or no copyediting.

Always thoroughly investigate any publisher and/or journal, along with their editorial process, scope, reviews, reputation, and impact factor, before deciding whether or not to submit your work.