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[ Industry trends ] August 16, 2022

Is early-stage research the next frontier for open access?

With the new drive for digital transformation, it is easier today than ever before to access scholarly information. However, open access publishing is still evolving across different disciplines and in different regions of the world.

Risks and rewards of open access in early-stage research

Since the early days of open access and evolution of science publishing, more and more early career researchers are calling for more openness in publishing, both to meet funding mandates and to democratize access to scientific thought. But open access has its own challenges when it comes to the business models of scholarly publishing. From publication fees and perceived lack of quality control to revenue sustainability, there are still some mixed feelings about the advantages and disadvantages of open access publishing.

Research conducted with public funds should be made available to those who contributed to its funding.

Additionally, open access research has shown positive results in improving citations and recognition. But to further the advantage and success that open access brings to authors, organizations must still develop a sustainable model that secures their future revenue while still ensuring the quality of the published work. 

Here are some key points on the risks and rewards of open access to get you thinking.

 

Accessibility of research

The main reason for the open access debate is to make research findings openly accessible for the future of science. More people worldwide can access publications, including those who ordinarily wouldn't due to financial constraints. Imagine how much further that progress could accelerate science if some early-stage research outputs were democratized through solutions like our research libraries.

However, while the end reader is free from all costs, someone has to foot the publication bills. This responsibility falls on the author, their institution, or covered by their research grants. Therefore in times of economic hardships or funding cuts, this becomes a hard burden to bear.

 

Quality of research

Open access publishing helps researchers reach wider audiences, gain increased citations and make more impact. But at the same time, research integrity concerns arise out of fear that publishers and researchers may commit fewer resources to the peer review process for open access research. 

Also, in open access publishing, the more papers published, the more revenue publishers receive (through APCs or credits in transformational deals). The stress of this new revenue stream may lead to an increase in quantity and a perceived lack of quality.

 

Revenue sustainability

Open access offers several benefits to world learners but comes at a price to publishers. There are fewer mandates for openly sharing early-stage research, which is a fertile ground for experimenting with new revenue streams. Traditional paid access to early-stage research is one way for publishers to supplement lost revenue from open access publishing. To make research work freely open to the public, we must integrate sustainable revenue approaches that enable researchers and publishers to offset these costs.

Organizations must also consider research publishing infrastructures that strongly support sustainability and efficiency.

 

ECRs career progression

Many researchers lack the support needed to publish in open access journals, yet they are still under pressure to make an impact and get ahead in their careers. With wider dissemination of early-stage research, increased citation opportunities, avenues for interdisciplinary collaboration, and faster impact, the benefits of open access to ECRs are multifold. 

However, more sustainable approaches to open access need to be integrated so that research work can get noticed without any impediments.

 

Conclusion

Opening up access to research speeds up science, making it more inclusive and effective for all. However, to make open access more achievable, roadblocks that limit the benefits of open access for researchers and publishers must be removed. We offer flexible solutions, whether our partners are expanding their open access offerings or supplementing their decreased publishing revenue due to open access constraints. 

At Morressier, our technological innovations and research publishing models remove the bottlenecks involved in scholarly publishing while creating revenue opportunities for publishers. Download our Ebook on the Power Of Global Access to see more.

Get in touch with our team to learn more about how Morressier is bridging the gaps in open access and helping early-stage research find its way to the future.