With the digitalization of the world, scholarly publishing underwent a paradigm shift. The decreased use of the printed versions opened an opportunity for a new movement which is called Open Access Movement. Traditionally, people who want to read scholarly articles published in peer-reviewed journals need to be affiliated with an institution that has a contract with the publisher. Otherwise, they would need to pay up to $100 just to download the document. This might not seem like a big problem when people are affiliated with institutions. However, this makes it almost impossible for others to access these articles. By others, I refer to people from the industry, people who are not affiliated with institutions, and people who are affiliated with institutions that have limited access because of their economic situation. As a result, science faces a challenge in the process of communication: paywalls. Open access movement started just because of this reason: eliminate the barriers while keeping the peer-review process.
The example I am going to talk about is a journal for which I wrote one review: Heliyon. Heliyon is a Cell Press Journal. It is an all-science journal – very diverse in disciplines – including .Moreover, published articles are made immediately available to the public and even indexed by PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science™ Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI). The aim of this journal is to reach the “widest possible audience”. Since it is accessible, the journal also wants to reach with the help of press and social media. In that sense, I think Heliyon serves Open Access purposes.
Another point to mention about Heliyon is publishing requirements. Most of the time, in order to publish, we need to have both Rigor and Relevance in our research. Here, Rigor refers to scientifically accurate, valid and reproducible (if possible) research, and Relevance means relevant to real-life (This is the same thing with answering the question: Why is my study important for the world?) The difference of Heliyon is that it only seeks for rigor, while it leaves the relevance decision to audience. And this makes sense because the journal is accessible by everyone. In my opinion, this journal gives all scholars doing rigorous research the freedom to reach a wide audience without worrying about convincing reviewers about the relevance of their work. According to Academic Accelerator, Heliyon’s impact factor increased by 22% in 2018, which is quite significant. We could probably say that Heliyon is contributing to Open Access Movement.