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 second guest post is by Jose Pablo Leone, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology.
My name is Jose Pablo Leone, I am Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Iowa. I have used the University of Iowa Libraries’ OA Fund a number of times and it has been a great resource. The staff at the Library is extremely helpful, they have helped me identify target journals and search the literature several times. Publishing articles in open access journals in my experience has been very gratifying. It allows for a much broader reception of the manuscript, many more researchers around the world are able to read it, making for a wider audience, and as a result of these you become more acknowledged by these researchers. In addition, I have found the free access and the self archiving features very valuable, this allows you to easily share your articles with your peers and collaborators. Researchers often struggle when they cannot access an important manuscript due to non-open access policies. In this regard, the opportunity to publish your work in open access allows creating potential collaborations with researchers that are focusing on your same topic in different countries. I have had the pleasure of being contacted by researchers about some of the articles I published open access and it has been a great experience. Another advantage of open access journals is that as your article gets more reads, it could also get more citations, making the impact of your manuscript stronger. Most journals also offer very user friendly tools to track the reception of your article, such as number of reads, downloads, citations, social media, etc. Finally, there are many misconceptions about open access journals that I would like to mention, for example, many people have the wrong concept that an open access article will not be cited in public databases such as PubMed, this is not true and depends on the journal rather than the open access policy or not. Some researchers believe that the open access journal will not have an impact factor, this is not correct, many open access journals do have established impact factors, however it is important to check this with each journal, as many of the newer journals will not have an impact factor yet. Lastly, some authors do not consider open access journals under the wrong impression that the article will not be peer reviewed, the reality is that submissions to open access journals do undergo a full peer review process and in addition, quite often the timing of this process is faster in open access journals.