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Open access: Why open access?

What are the benefits of open access?

It is easier for a larger audience to find open access publications than articles published in subscription-based journals. Previous research has concluded that articles that are freely accessible are read and cited more. (Swan et al. 2010 The Open Access Citation Advantage).

Research institutions and funding agencies recommend, or even require, that research results should be made freely accessible. In this way research transparency increases, the possibility of repetition and therefore, the reliability of the research, rises. For example, the Academy of Finland requires that the research they fund as far as possible is parallel published in freely accessible institutional repositories or databases. Likewise, research funded by the EU's Horizon2020 should be made freely accessible.

Research results made freely accessible democratize science, improve scientific communication and smooths out differences between various countries' research institutions. The website Open Science and Research lists benefits of open access publishing:

  • Opportunities for research repetition is improved
  • Reuse of research results becomes possible
  • Research results quickly disseminates to other researchers, policy makers and business life
  • Research visibility increases (citations, credentials)
  • Research efficiency and transparency increases with better access to information 
  • Research quality increases
  • New research ideas are born

Scams in open access publishing

Some publishers may have dubious publishing motives. These so-called vanity publishers or predatory publishers use researchers by collecting publishing fees without peer reviewing the publications. Such publishers send out lots of enticing junk mail offers to get scientists to do all the work for them while they are only interested in money.  

It is important to thoroughly familiarize yourself with the open access journal in which you intend to publish your article. The scientific community discusses extensively with publishers on the net and it's worthwhile to do a simple Google search and check ongoing discussions on the matter. See also: