Blog Post 3- Open Access Research

This week’s readings on open access really opened my eyes to the world of easily accessible research for everybody. One particular subject that intrigued me was the conversation surrounding the intersection between social media and higher education. I know that I personally follow most of the Virginia Tech Facebook pages and twitter handles that relate to my own graduate experience. I feel like these routes encourage learning in “down time”, or when students are not currently engaged in academia for a grade. For example, I found myself reading an article about environmental conservation that was shared online, regardless of the fact that my own research is not related. I think the open sharing of research is extremely beneficial to the academic world, and may even encourage people to stop being so anal about their own findings.

The journal I chose to look at was the American Communication Journal, the Summer 2017 issue (Volume 19, Issue 2). It is registered with the Library of Congress, and focuses on communication analysis in an open access format. Their website states that the journal was  “commissioned by the American Communication Association’s Board of Directors in 1996”.

The following statement is on their “Aim and Scope” page of the website:
“The American Communication Journal (ACJ) is the official publication of the American Communication Association (ACA). ACJ is committed to publishing interdisciplinary scholarship on communication. Appreciating the diversity of research agendas and methodologies in the study of communication, the Editorial Board of ACJ welcome submissions on any topic related to the discipline.”

I took this to mean that the journal’s scope is wide reaching, with a focus on the journal connecting readers across a wide variety of subjects within the communication field. Likewise, I like how the goal of diversity was highlighted in the statement.

Overall, the journal does not go into too much detail about what open access is; the only statement I could find was with information on copywriting, “The ACJ is dedicated to the open exchange of information. ACJ is freely available to individuals and institutions. Copies of this journal of articles in this journal may be distributed for research or educational purposes free of charge and without permission.”

I really appreciated how the journal provides research in an open access format simply because they believe it’s the right thing to do, and encourage other to do so as well. In a perfect world, I would hope that open access could loosen the pressures surrounding professors needed to publish the “hot, new research” in the field. Instead of hiding stimulus materials or data pools, individuals could collaborate for the greater good.

2 Replies to “Blog Post 3- Open Access Research”

  1. I appreciate ACJ’s aim to provide a platform to exchange information in an open manner. There needs to be more of these kinds of data transactions so that we can continue learning together. I also liked your emphasis on collaboration at the end of the post as it is important. Research projects are difficult to complete by yourself, so why stop the collaboration there once it is completed?

  2. The journal’s statement about “its the right thing to do”. I agree with this. Giving people access to information is the proper thing to do, especially when the information is available. Journals must be transparent and open to those that want to access the information. How can we improve if everyone restricts who has access to the information. I am a big proponent of transparency of any information that researchers publish.

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