Open access, the best way to publish your research findings

Open access is a movement that started in the early 2000s and seeks to make research available online and free for everyone. It is positive because it makes available research that would otherwise not be accessible to most universities and people. There are several forms of open access, including gold and platinum. Gold open access eliminates the payment of fees to readers and libraries and charges fees to authors. Platinum open access aims to eliminate fees to readers and authors and, instead, publication costs are covered by external agencies. The payment structure of gold open access journals has allowed that many private companies owning journals become a millionaire business.

To show an example of a platinum open access journal I chose the journal Human-Wildlife Interactions (HWI) because, besides being an open access journal, I submitted a paper that was accepted for publication. This journal publishes all the accepted manuscripts on DigitalCommongs@USU website, which is a repository from Utah State University with the aim to provide access to research. The HWI journal is the only scientific journal that publishes topics related to professional management of human-wildlife conflicts. This journal is subscribed to The Berryman Institute, which is based in the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University.

According to HWI homepage, the purpose and scope of the journal is to “serve the professional needs of the wildlife biologist and manager in the arena of human-wildlife conflicts/interactions, wildlife damage management, and contemporary wildlife management.” The goal of the journal is to publish original contributions with an emphasis in reporting innovative conservation strategies, technologies, and tools that help mitigate human-wildlife conflicts; and finally, to promote a dialogue among wildlife professionals. This journal does not provide an explanation of what open access is, but in its policies, specifically where we find information about the use that authors are permitted to do without express permission from the magazine, we can find information about open access. The operational costs of this journal seem to be covered by the host Department.

7 Comments

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7 Responses to Open access, the best way to publish your research findings

  1. ben coleman

    It’s interesting that the open access journal is funded by the department, as opposed to having the authors pay fees in some other models, or relying on a multi-tier subscription model. How sustainable do you think that the model of having a college run the journal as a loss-making enterprise is? Or maybe the journal sells advertising space to defray the costs?

  2. Khanh To

    I haven’t seen a journal being funded by a department before, this is very neat! How many submissions do they get a year and what is the turn around time between submission and publication? Does the journal provide peer review to the submissions?

  3. Kaiwen Chen

    I am getting curious if the HWI journal belongs to the Gold, Platinum or other types of open access. As you mentioned the host department seems to cover the operational costs, I am curious if the authors need to pay to get published so that the department might have the opportunity of balancing the expenses and income. Also, in my point of view, it is also a good way to raise academic fame for this department.

  4. I agree that publishing fees should not be shouldered by the researchers, and that all research should be openly accessible by all. However, Open Access is not a perfect paradigm. There are some risks inherent with them that need to be dealt with accordingly. Primarily, it is necessary that the journals continue to be peer reviewed in order to maintain credibility with regard to the information they disseminate. In many ways, credibility is the most essential feature of a journal. We need to feel confident that the vast majority of the time the information we glean from the journals is reliable and that the selection process involved in deciding what to publish is rigorous. Since they are somewhat new to the journal scene, OA journals will need to establish a strong track record of reliability over the course of many years to be considered generally equal to our traditional journals. In the US especially, there is the perception that you get what you pay for. This is a hurdle that the OA journals need to overcome to be viable.

  5. zookat13

    Congratulations on your paper acceptance! Did the fact that this journal is open access factor into your decision making when you were deciding where to submit? If so, how?

  6. Sam

    Thanks for your post! I really enjoyed your explanation of different open access tiers. The journal I covered also did not speak a whole lot about its philosophy of open access was. There was, however, a way to read in between the lines and try to figure out, much like what you did in this post.

  7. sptiller

    Thanks for your post! I really enjoyed your explanation of different open access tiers. The journal I covered also did not speak a whole lot about its philosophy of open access was. There was, however, a way to read in between the lines and try to figure out, much like what you did in this post.
    Reply

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