During the month of Open Access week (October 24-30, 2016) 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.
The first guest post is by Chioma M. Okeoma, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Microbiology.
Open access (OA) literally means making literature available to researchers, teachers, journalists, policy makers, and the general public without barriers. Without the open access mechanism, readers or consumers of scientific findings would face price and permission barriers for the use of research findings.
For authors like me, OA provides unlimited access to our work to anyone regardless of their geographic location. The benefits are optimal dissemination of intellectual findings, rigorous peer and public discourse, and increased citations. Above all, OA provides an author maximum visibility and impact for research findings. As authors benefit from publishing OA, so do institutions.
Of course OA publishing is not without a cost to authors because OA publishers charge fees to cover costs. However, the cost of publishing may be covered by grants to authors, or by government and/or institutional subsidies depending on the country and institution. For example, the University of Iowa is a huge proponent of OA publishing. The University through the Office of the Provost and University Libraries provides funds to cover the fees for OA publishing; http://guides.lib.uiowa.edu/scholarly_publishing/OAfund. So when next you think of publishing, think OA. Try it and you will find being “OPEN” truly rewarding.
Chioma M. Okeoma, Ph.D