Open Access Week

Open Access Week, a global event now entering its ninth year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research. Open Access to information – the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need – has the power to transform the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted.

Stephen, what are your thoughts on Open Access?

Stephen Hwang, former Rector of Linnaeus University, shares his thoughts on Open Access in this video interview.

What do you think about Open Access?

The University Library asked three of Linnaeus University's researchers some questions about Open Access.

Associate Professor Hans Hägerdal

Department of Cultural Sciences
Editor of HumaNetten

In your role as a writer, what open access advantages and/or disadvantages do you see?

In these Internet-based times it can feel good that those who are interested get instant access to research results. My experience as a historian whose primary research is Asian studies is that highly interesting articles tend to hide in paper format in magazines (not to mention Festschrifts and anthologies) that are difficult to access, sometimes even in the international asia research institutes. Here, OA be a blessing for people with highly specialized research.

In your role as editor of an OA journal, what open access advantages and/or disadvantages do you see?

An OA journal has a certain appeal. In my experience, academic writers even refrain established paper journals in favor of newer OA publications, as it is often demands from funders or institutions that research results should be OA.

To publish a PDF copy of your article in the university repository DiVA (i.e. Green Open Access) or publishing your article in OA journals (i.e. Gold OA), which are the benefits?

I know too little about the system to speak. Spontaneously, I think that Green OA would make it easier for me as a researcher, especially in a newer institution without extensive access to specialized magazines.

Do you think OA publication has influenced citation frequency for your articles?

Yes, I suspect so. A research report which I published digitally at Växjö University a few years ago has attracted some attention from those interested in other countries. With research like mine, in Asian history, it can also be very important and essential that historians and interested in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, East Timor and so on, countries with very limited access to research libraries, that they get free access to the subject matter. Sometime I have linked in Wikipedia articles.

Do you see any conflict between OA publishing and the possibility of qualification and to get research grants?

Not really. It depends on whether OA journals have had more difficulties to get into the scoring system, but I can not prove that this is the case.

There are different funding models for OA journals in which the most common is an author's fee (APC), but there are also models where institutions take responsibilities for the costs. How do you perceive the different models of funding system?

I prefer the system to stay the same, that the OA journal HumaNetten remains funded by the faculty.

I would think that there will be more and more. In a world of increasingly specialized academic studies and disciplines you want the results visible. In my own field, the number of publications on Asian history and culture has increased sharply since the late 1900s, and it's important that the published results are not hidden in journals that are difficult to localise. The internet is clearly an option if you can ensure proper handling, review process, etc.

 

Professor Idor Svensson

Department of Psychology

In your role as a writer, what open access advantages and/or disadvantages do you see?

I see the most opportunities based on the questions below as research becomes more accessible to all. Researchers must be careful with ethical issues with regard to sharing databases. Researchers maybe also need to think about how they write, in order to be understood by a wider audience, not just scientists but also professionals working in the field. This would enable a faster use of presented research. In this case, the research guild need to become more modern.

The problem is of course how to ensure that research is designed with a good and proven method. For example, it is common in quantitative research, in all cases relating to intervention research, to be carried out on the basis of an RCT design (randomized controlled trial). However, this is in some cases not possible depending on the "setting" that the research is conducted in.

Reviewers who are well versed in this are required, otherwise it can be substandard publishing. Hence, the need for a "peer review" process. The problem with this process is that it is often slow and sometimes unfortunately very arbitrary. Maybe, this process would be improved if these missions were funded to the extent that the person who reviews an article becomes more serious, and a deadline when the reviewing must be made (this system already exists). This funding could possibly make the process more reliable and faster.

To publish a PDF copy of your article in the university repository DiVA (i.e. Green Open Access) or publishing your article in OA journals (i.e. Gold OA), which are the benefits?

Not sure I understand the question, but perhaps it is not necessary if the article is published as OA. It can hardly be more or less OA, right?

Do you think OA publication has influenced citation frequency for your articles?

In the current situation I do not believe so, but it is hard to know!

Do you see any conflict between OA publishing and the possibility of qualification and to get research grants?

Not if the research community looks upon OA publishing as equivalent to the "traditional publishing method". But today you get the notion that an OA journal usually has no impact factor and therefore is not counted in the same way.

There are different funding models for OA journals in which the most common is an author's fee (APC), but there are also models where institutions take responsibilities for the costs. How do you perceive the different models of funding system?

This is a question that we must also think about regarding "open access", the cost of publication can be very expensive and that the individual researcher must arrange this payment. It cannot be that only those who have money can get published.

This is why I do not believe this system will be cheaper, because the universities must still fund publications, now only in a different way. Some funders regulates this by allocating funds for this through their grants. But perhaps do the universities need to join together and counteract the fact that publications are becoming too expensive.

What do you think about the future of OA publishing?

I believe the potential is much greater than the problems and that these problems can be solved. The research community must also, in respect of these matters, adjust to the future and the opportunities that exist today. So yes, the scientific community should strive for 'open science'.

 

Professor Jonas Waldenström

Department of Biology and Environmental Science
Editor of PLoS ONE, Ornis Svecica and Infection Ecology & Epidemiology

In your role as a writer, what open access advantages and/or disadvantages do you see?

The main role is actually not as a writer but as a reader. Nothing is more annoying than clicking an essay, only to find out that it is behind a paywall. It happens relatively seldom at university, but often enough to be troublesome. And for anyone outside the University's servers, OA means accessibility and opportunity for advancement. The fact that I blog also makes it easier to use figures, tables or quotes in the texts marked with CC licenses.

If I see my role as a writer, the profits are mainly in distribution: the study will be available to all instantaneously. Possible disadvantages are that it costs some - but it does so often in all kinds of journals in my field - and the fact that some OA journals (mainly those who do not attach importance to the 'perceived impact') by some considered less fine than 'society journals'. But even the latter have created their own OA journals lately, so the winds of change are rattling through the entire publishing system.

In your role as editor of an OA journal, what open access advantages and/or disadvantages do you see?

I'm the editor of three magazines, two of which are OA and one is a 'Society Journal'. The job itself is essentially no different from the magazines, but my job is to ensure that the manuscripts are assessed for their scientific content and presentation. However, one of the journals - PLoS ONE –is more special in that it does not do a screening regarding the expected impact article of the article, which means that you must put down jobs with articles that editors in a more specialized journal rejected without sending out the review. Otherwise, the pros and cons of OA are similar as in the paragraph above: it is the reader, who is most important.

To publish a PDF copy of your article in the university repository DiVA (i.e. Green Open Access) or publishing your article in OA journals (i.e. Gold OA), which are the benefits?

In my field it has become common with Green OA, particularly perhaps in Research Gate. It is positive because it increases availability. Moreover, the use of so-called preprints, such as BioXriv, and deposits of the data in, for example, Dryad. All this makes the researcher's everyday life easier. I do not use DiVA to great extent, but it would be easy for me to upload PDFs, so I am positive about doing that.

Do you think OA publication has influenced citation frequency for your articles?

That is difficult to say on the basis of one's own publications because it is difficult to compare - each article is, after all, unique. But I think the larger meta analyzes indicates that OA gives greater dissemination, which should give more citations. In the first instance one tries to publish an article in the magazine with the largest target audience is, which is field-dependent.

Do you see any conflict between OA publishing and the possibility of qualification and to get research grants?

There has definitely been a conflict, and to some extent there still is. As the more traditional magazines have been around longer, some of them have a high reputation, although it does not really say anything about the quality of all articles published in these journals. The more time that passed, however, more and more "old foxes" have begun to publish in the new OA journals, and several old magazines themselves have created OA channels. Over time, it is inexorably so that OA wins – additionally, research funding requires this increasingly.

There are different funding models for OA journals in which the most common is an author's fee (APC), but there are also models where institutions take responsibilities for the costs. How do you perceive the different models of funding system?

It would be nice if the department could cover the cost for this, but it is perhaps a naive hope. I am currently funding this out of my external funding.

What do you think about the future of OA publishing?

I see no other future, indeed. Why should research results - mostly publicly financed - not be available to all?

 

Statistics from DiVA

The charts below show the development of Open Access publishing for scientific articles and chapters on Lnu during 2011-2015.

During the same time period, the most used OA journals on Lnu are PLoS ONE (48 articles), Svensk Idrottsforskning (26 articles), and International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being (13 articles).

Percentage OA of total scientific articles

Bar chart showing percentage Open Access of scientific articles in DiVA, years 2011-2015

Percentage OA of total scientific chapters

Bar chart showing percentage Open Access of scientific chapters in DiVA, years 2011-2015