I have strong opinions when it comes to “Open Access” journals in science.
Let me start by saying that I understand predatory publishers have really ruined the reputation of this journal type.
We can not let bad apples ruin such a golden nugget in science, people. What good is our research if we are not spreading it to the people who need to stay informed (i.e patients, physicians, teachers, students, etc)? The more we make people pay for access, the more we divide the knowledge within communities. SCIENCE NEEDS TO BE EQUITABLE. There is a huge focus surrounding diversifying the scientific workforce, but open access journals are the first step in diversifying the scientific audience.
A peer-reviewed, open access journal that I would like to highlight is PLOS one, which covers any discipline within science and medicine. They have been published by the Public Library of Science since 2006 and have an impact factor of 3.24. I have seen MANY amazing papers come of this journal. I love that this journal covers so many disciplines, and that they’re all about supporting equity. In fact, on their main website (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/s/journal-information) they state,
“PLOS employs several business models to support equitable Open Access. A full list of our publication fees, funding initiatives and fee assistance information is available”
Not only do they understand and pursue equitable access for their audience, but they also consider those submitting articles. They really are a transformative group, best summarized by their mission statement:
“PLOS is a nonprofit, Open Access publisher empowering researchers to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication.”
“SCIENCE NEEDS TO BE EQUITABLE” this is the point. Period. I’m of the belief that knowledge should fair, impartial, and never hidden by a paywall. All the work we do fails if it is unreachable by our audience and cost should not be the defining factor in how accessible said work is. PLOS sound like a wonderful journal, and my only critique is that I’d like the article to go further in depth on it’s benefits. How are author’s protected by the journal? What are its policies on publications licenses? Additional fees post publishing? I only ask because it sounds as if they do excellent work and I’d appreciate a bit more on the “how”. Thank you for the article.