Despite flaws, open access is worth the price

A recent editorial in the Daily Texan expressed support for open access journals in the academic community, despite misgivings by some as to their credibility.  The editorial cites a recent experiment published in the journal Science, in which Harvard’s John Bohannon successfully convinced more than 100 online journals to accept a bogus study.

The article notes that one major concern for academic institutions is the increasing cost of providing access to traditional print journals.  Susan Macicak of UT libraries is quoted as stating that EBSCO, the university’s serials agent, “posted price increases of at least 20 percent across all disciplines from 2009 to 2013”, and that this trend was expected to continue.  Open source journals could be one method of providing important information to scholars without passing the ever-increasing cost on to the university.  Providing knowledge and research to as wide an audience as possible is another benefit to be gained from the open access model.

Open access journals currently lack the prestige of the traditional print publications of scholarly research. It will take time and effort until they are respected on par with print journals and begin to attract work at a comparable level. However, the editorial suggests that this acceptance can be initiated at the university level, and notes that some institutions, including MIT and the University of North Texas, have already adopted policies favoring open access.  The editorial concludes that, though the model is not without its drawback, the potential benefits of open-access journals outweigh their risks.  The editorial can be read in its entirety here: http://www.dailytexanonline.com/opinion/2013/10/11/despite-flaws-open-access-is-worth-the-price

Discover more about open access and its impact during Open Access Week 2013, October 21 – 25, hosted by the UT libraries.  For more details see: http://blogs.lib.utexas.edu/oaw/