Uncertainty among researchers and stakeholders still prevails over the merits of open access to scientific research. Among the popular criticisms is that payment by authors or on their behalf for journal publication could create conflicts of interest and negatively impact the perceived neutrality of peer review. Some believe that it nurtures a financial incentive for journals to publish more articles. Although the importance of the role of peer review does not diminish under an Open Access model, structures can be put into place to ensure that peer reviewers are not unduly influenced by the needs of their publishers (see The Pros and Cons of Open Access).
Another obstacle to convincing researchers of the merits of open access is the need to dispel the common belief that open practices could present a risk to career advancement. Instead, many advocates of open practices, including potential for job opportunities driven by research publication, believe that benefits outweigh the potential costs. eLife Sciences.
One of the strongest attributes of the Therapoid.net research platform slated to debut in the fourth quarter, 2017, is that it provides researchers worldwide the opportunity to take credit for their research. Through collaboration of shared data and putting their manuscripts on the preprint server, scientists can speed-up their time to publication. With Therapoid™, today’s research community will have access to a scientific ecosystem platform that truly advances the open science and open data principles.
Researchers are coming to believe they can use open science to their advantage to gain more citations, media attention, potential collaborators, and funding opportunities. Among these advantages are:
- Open publications get more citations.
- Open publications get more media coverage. One way for researchers to gain visibility is for their publications to be shared on social media and covered by mainstream media outlets. There is evidence that publishing articles openly can help researchers get noticed.
- Until institutions cease using the journal impact factor (IF) in evaluations, researchers will understandably be concerned about the IF of journals in which they publish. Researchers repeatedly rank IF and associated journal reputation as among the most important factors they consider when deciding where to publish. Fortunately, IFs of indexed open access (OA) journals are steadily approaching those of subscription journals. In addition, many subscription-based high-IF journals offer authors the option to pay to make their articles openly accessible.
In addition, several OA journals have open and transparent peer review processes. Some studies suggest open peer review may produce reviews of higher quality, including better-substantiated claims and more constructive criticisms, compared to closed review. There are ways to openly share work while still publishing in subscription journals, including preprints and postprints, the latter enabling researchers to archive articles on open platforms after publication in traditional journals. Another advantage is the author’s ability to retain author rights and control reuse with open licenses. Lastly, authors can often publish in OA journals at low to no-cost.
Open access is gaining interest and momentum. A recent article in Open Access from the Max Planck Society, a co-founder of the International Open Access movement, Max Planck Society, states that “Concerns that Open Access contravenes the rules of good scientific practice are unfounded, given that the same rules apply here as apply to conventional publications, such as ban on plagiarism, improper adaptation, and the like.
“The call for Open Access is additionally motivated by the trend in the cost of scientific journals, which has led to the phenomenon dubbed the journal crisis. Many supporters of Open Access hope it will not only improve accessibility but also serve to keep costs down.”