Today’s scholars are living in a world unlike that of any other time. The entire globe has become part of a digital era where everything from communication to commerce is shifting to web-based in nature. This shift has impacted the academic field significantly, creating changes in how research is performed and in how submissions are published. The advent of open access publications is one of the biggest changes.
Throughout history, researchers relied on libraries and journals to be up-to-date with the latest information on a subject. It might take weeks or months to order and receive a publication with the most recent articles, and by that time, the information could already be obsolete.
With the global powers of the internet now, researchers can search and find almost everything they need from their own computers. Libraries are going digital, and open access publications allow scholars to keep up daily with changes in their field. But this open access publication system is not without its downfalls.
Traditional Journals vs. Open Access
For centuries, traditional publishing was used to get information to the public. Reputable publishers chose which scholars to accept based on the ability of their work to meet and exceed predetermined standards. These publications were always put into print and turned into journals or other publications. Those who were interested in staying abreast with the most current information and changing trends had subscriptions to their relevant journals or articles. Others were able to access them through libraries.
Now, electronic publishing has become king of the scientific world. Online digital documents are available on-demand, and even the work that is available in the printed journals that continue today is also usually accessible through digital files published online. This streamlined process speeds up the time it takes from the end of the research to the public’s access to the information.
There are also some reputable publishers that want to stick to tradition but also understand the relevance of open access sources. These companies blend their offerings, giving readers both open access work and articles that must be purchased. They publish credible articles and choose their own formats for how long a work is available for free or for charge, or how long it remains on their website for digital publication. These hybrid companies are becoming the preferred method of publishing for many scholars because it’s a less expensive option that covers the bases researchers must cover: having their work published in a high-impact article or journal and providing that work to the public for free.
Moving Into Open Access
The digital era allows scholars to get their work disseminated to the public through multiple forms of medium, such as blogs, social media forums, and open access journals. All of these venues give readers the opportunity to read the content for free. Open access works a little differently, though. Readers get the content free of charge, but researchers usually have to pay to publish those findings.
This hefty price tag creates a dilemma for scholars. They want the benefits of open access, but also want the reputability and reduced cost of publishing in a traditional journal.
Open access publications have made a significant impact on the academic world that researchers can’t ignore. These publications are often associated with a higher impact rating of a scholar’s work since they are readily available and able to be shared and reused. They’re also digital, meaning other researchers can easily search and scan for relevant information using automated tools. This frees up their time of reading and looking for possibly important data, with the potential that they miss a golden nugget or get nothing at all out of hours of reading.
Readily available work equates to more citations, which is part of the formula used to determine the relevancy of a scholar and drives a higher societal impact. With these benefits to open access publishing, it’s not a surprise that more and more scholars are turning to this medium to get their work out.
But there are still cons to this form of publication, including the higher cost to the researcher to publish their work and the dangers of scholars being exposed to predatory publishing practices.
Impactio Makes the Move to Open Access Easy
Regardless of how you choose to publish your work, the fact is that you’ll need a program to create your final submission. Impactio is the platform chosen by scholars around the world, since it offers everything you need to compile a professional finished product.
Impactio’s all-in-one program allows users to drag and drop their work, break it into subsections, easily create charts, tables, and graphs, and so much more. When you’re ready to submit your work to a traditional or open access publisher, start the process with Impactio first.