OA Information For Faculty in Science, Technology or Medicine
I’m a faculty member in science, technology or medicine. Why should I care?
For one, the cost of subscriptions has been consistently highest for journals in the areas of science, technology and medicine – so publishing patterns in your field could potentially have a large ripple effect on all of academia.
Some other reasons why Open Access could matter for you:
- Your research could reach a wider audience. Most studies show that Open Access publishing allows your work to be viewed and read more often, and it may increase the number of citations. (A brief bibliography of the literature on research impact is here.) Open Access journals can also publish research faster than traditional print journals, and publishing online means your research is accessible through popular search engines.
- Your students could have access to a greater variety of research, and you wouldn’t have to worry about the legality of making copies or putting readings on reserve.
- Open Access journals and repositories are a way for researchers who receive money from the National Institute of Health to meet new requirements to make their research public.
- Support for Open Access means you are helping the academic community come to grips with a journal publishing system that is no longer economically sustainable -- and that is often benefiting commercial publishers at the expense of universities. Most of the work published in academics journals is provided by researchers at little or no cost. One argument in favor of Open Access is that researchers (or their home institutions) should not have to pay to access content that they have provided, reviewed and edited without compensation.
What can I do?
As a faculty author , reviewer or editor:
- When you have a choice, submit and publish in Open Access journals first
- When you do publish in a subscription-based journal, choose to retain your copyright to your work so that it later might be archived in Open Access repositories. For more information on how to do this, go here.
- Decline to publish, review or serve as editor for unreasonably expensive journals.
- Help launch open-access journals in your field or department, and serve on the editorial board for open-access journals whenever you can.
As a member of a department and professional associations:
- Help your colleagues to understand open access and the problems with the current model of scholarly publishing. Serve on committees on publishing, and write opinion pieces on the topic for newsletters.
- When sitting on hiring, tenure, grant-review or promotion committees, do not use price or medium of distribution of a journal as a measure of its quality, and discourage others from doing so.
- Communicate with librarians about the real value of individual subscription-based journals, and help them to determine which expensive subscriptions your institution could do without.