Pwani University recently celebrated open access week. Open access week is a global event, now in its 8th year and its main object is to promote open access as a new norm in scholarship and research. The library hosted the colorful event which was held on 21st -24th October, 2014. It was a joyful moment and the library wishes to thank all who visited and/or participated in the event. The event was sponsored International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP). The library thanks PU management for the support given. Because of the many questions asked during the event, we have prepared a list of FAQs below.
Open Access FAQs
What does the term Open Access mean?
- “Open Access” is a term commonly used for a movement that promotes free availability and unrestricted use of research and scholarship.
- Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge to the reader, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions, so there are no price barriers and no permission barriers.
Why would an author be interested in pursuing an open access channel for publication?
- It benefits authors by making your work easily accessible and therefore more likely to be read and cited by people who do not have access via personal or institutional subscriptions to journals
- It benefits society by making research available to all, and is not dependent on the ability to subscribe to the journal or pay or download particular papers
- It makes notoriously elusive items such as some conference papers and posters, unpublished works and out of print items easy to obtain.
- It benefits the University by publicizing its research
I want to publish my paper in the open access journal, how can I find the relevant journal?
The Directory of Open Access Journals provides the author service: go and search or browse by journal title or by subject open access & hybrid journals to find where to publish your research as open access. You can search and browse all the journals, or only the journals that don’t charge publication fee.
Is open access compatible with copyright?
Copyright law gives the copyright holder the right to make access open or restricted, open access seek to put copyright in the hands of authors or institutions that will consent to make access open.
Open access journals will either let authors retain copyright or ask authors to transfer copyright to the publisher. In either case, the copyright holder will consent to open access for the published work. When the publisher holds the copyright, it will consent to open access directly. When authors hold the copyright, they will insure open access by signing a license to the publisher authorizing open access. Publishers of open access journals will have such licenses already prepared for authors.
Is open access compatible with high standards and high quality?
Completely. The short answer is that the same factors that create high standards and high quality in traditional scholarly publications can be brought to bear, with the same effects, on open access literature. The long answer depends on whether we are talking about open access journals or open access repositories.
Open access journals. The quality of scholarly journals is a function of the quality of their editors, editorial boards, and referees, which in turn affect the quality of the authors who submit articles to them. Open access journals can have exactly the same quality controls working for them that traditional journals have. The main reason is that the people involved in the editorial process, and the standards they use, do not depend on the medium (print or electronic) or the cost (priced or free) of the publication. This is clearest in the case when the very same people who edit print or limited access journals also edit open access journals, either because their journal appears in two versions or because they resigned from a journal that didn’t support open access and created a new open access journal to serve the same scholarly community.
Open access repositories. Scholars self-archive either unrefereed preprints or refereed postprints. Let’s take these in order.
- By calling preprints “unrefereed” we mean, of course, that they are not yet peer-reviewed. Their quality has not been tested or endorsed by others in the field. But this is because they are unrefereed preprints, not because an open access repository gives open access to them. As long as they are labelled as preprints, there is no misleading of readers and no dilution of the body of refereed or peer-reviewed literature.
- Refereed postprints have been peer-reviewed by journals. The standards by which they have been judged and recommended are those of journals in the field, and these standards do not depend on a journal’s medium (print or electronic) or cost (priced or free). The quality of the articles endorsed by these standards depends entirely on these standards, not on the fact that an open access repository provides open access to them.