During the month of Open Access week (October 23-29, 2017) we will be highlighting a number of guest posts from University of Iowa Faculty and Staff who have personal experience making their work Open Access. We appreciate their contributions.
Open access journals provide the broadest possible worldwide readership. Anyone in the world can read articles without charge. A piece published in an open access journal can cross over and breakdown financial, proprietary, and regional boundaries. Readers have access to this journal regardless of the financial resources of their region, libraries, or universities.
There are other advantages. Authors usually retain the copyright for their own work when publishing in an open access journal. This is becoming more important over time for a number of reasons. You can freely deposit your work on sites such as ResearchGate, GitHub, or other social sites since you keep the copyright. The paper belongs to you, not a publisher. This further broadens the readership, likelihood of citations, and the usefulness of the paper.
Cost can be an issue, but there are ways around that, too. Whenever possible, I write in publication costs into grants and contracts. It is often an easy sell to funders who what their supported work seen publicly. UI Libraries Open Access Fund helps, too. I have used this to help support student’s papers being published.