Open-access journals publish their papers on the Web for everyone to read, whether or not they are subscribers to the journal (although some currently charge the author over $3,000 for the privilege). Papers in online journals may also have additional features that benefit readers. For example, sometimes there are links to other papers cited in the references in an article, and to other papers on the same topic, or by the same authors. Recently, I came across one online journal, the International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (www.georgiasouthern.edu/ijsotl.) that included video clips as well as tables and figures – changing at a stroke our conceptions of what a journal should be.
One journal, Current Medical Research and Opinion, for example, has two modes of rapid publication:
- FastTrack, where peer review and an initial decision take two weeks from submission, and online publication is only two to three weeks from final acceptance; and
- RapidTrack, where peer review and the initial decision take three to four weeks from submission, and online publication takes four to five weeks from final acceptance.
There is a production fee for papers in the FastTrack mode. Papers published online then subsequently appear in print four to six weeks later. The Astrophysical Journal has similar arrangements. Here, preprints of articles that are accepted are posted on the journal web page before the articles appear in print. As noted earlier, the editors report that papers that have appeared on the web site in this way are cited at approximately twice the rate of those that are not posted prior to publication
University departments maintain home pages for individual faculty members on which they place their papers and make them freely available
An institution underwrites the hosting of repository software, enabling members to self-archive published and unpublished papers
Author fees support immediate and complete access, and fees covered by institutional and national membership
Subsidy from scholarly society institution etc. enables access
Subscriptions for print edition sustain both print and open-access edition
Subscriptions for print edition and immediate open access for subscribers, with open access to all after, say, six months
Open access to a subset of articles in each edition
Open access to students and scholars in developing countries as a charitable contribution
Open access to bibliographic information and abstracts, often with links to pay for full texts
Member institutions contribute to support open access journals
Currently there appear to be four main ways of paying for publishing in an open-access journal, but the advantages and disadvantages of these (and other) methods of payment are being hotly debated at the time of writing. These four are:
- Author puts findings/paper online for free.
- Author pays to publish online in an open-access journal.
- Author’s institution pays for the author to publish online in an openaccess journal.
- Research funding agencies pay for publication of the research findings online in an open-access journal.
but basically they are not so bound by the number of articles that they can print in any one issue. As noted earlier, studies suggest that self-archived papers and papers in open-access journals are cited just as, if not more, frequently on the Web than papers published in the traditional manner, but there are disputes over the reasons for this.It is possible to distinguish between the following three such causes:
- researchers are more likely to read, and thus cite, open-access articles;
- prominent authors are more likely to make their articles available via open-access, and these will be widely read; and
- because open-access articles appear earlier than their subsequently printed journal versions, they enjoy the benefit of this earlier appearance in the literatur
Also, there is dispute over the suggestion that open-access can make more articles from developing countries available using these procedures . Some people consider that the costs of open-access publishing for the authors or their institutions will cause greater difficulties in developing countries
Hartley., J. (2008). .Academic writing and publishing : a practical guide (p.140). NY: Routledge