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[ FUTURE OF PUBLISHING ] October 14, 2022

Public sector rationale on Open Access: facts and talking points

The impacts of Open Access in research publishing cascade across every section of society. It makes research freely accessible for people to see, use and build upon.

Scientific research users could be students, professionals, other researchers, teachers, and anyone looking to gain new knowledge about a subject. But why is the societal rationale behind Open Access so strong?

 

Impacts of Open Access on Society

The impacts of Open Access go beyond the domains of the researcher or their organization. It affects the entire society in the sense that whoever has access to an internet connection can learn from new scientific findings and use the knowledge to empower themselves or add value to society. For example, medical professionals can leverage new discoveries to develop precision approaches to providing healthcare. Open Access no doubt creates opportunities for research to translate from text to real-world uses. Therefore, for the public sector, research accessibility means that everyone can have the knowledge they need to make a difference, save lives and change the state of affairs.

 

Should scientific research remain inaccessible?

Here, we will make a case for the reasons why the public demand Open Access and the impacts it would have on society.

 

Public-funded research

Although the substantial cost of publishing peer-reviewed content is evident, we cannot take away the fact that some of this research is funded by the government. This is a major public rationale behind Open Access because taxpayers feel the need to access the research financed by their taxes to the government. The recent OSTP memo by the United States Government indicates that all publicly-funded research be made openly accessible is another indication that this rationale holds sway.

 

Knowledge base for professionals

Making research openly accessible even from the early stages helps create a repository of knowledge for people to build on and facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration. With this knowledge, professionals can spark new ideas and explore new horizons. Open Access can also inspire conversations around novel approaches to solving problems in society. From improving healthcare and living conditions to enhancing the way people work, the impact of research accessibility in the public sector.

Furthermore, the academic sector needs access to research for them to update their knowledge and provide advanced education to students. This means that without Open Access, society may only depend on obsolete knowledge.

 

Researchers and learners in developing countries

Open Access is essential for people around the globe to have enough information needed to advance and advocate the changes needed in society. When scientific research is locked up behind paywall journals, researchers and learners, particularly in financially challenged areas of the world may not be able to access new knowledge to fuel their scientific endeavors.  


The aim of research is to contribute to scientific knowledge and affect the world around us for the greater good. Therefore, beyond its impact on the researchers themselves, Open Access makes room for society to acquire the knowledge needed to be more efficient, stay informed about different subjects and live better. This is why the public sector has a strong and growing interest in the Open Access model.

 

Conclusion

The role of the public in funding, advocating and participating in research means the sector has a valid rationale to be engaged in discussions about Open Access. However, we cannot ignore the reasons for the introduction of subscription-based access. This is why the publishing industry needs to develop innovative ways to make research accessible while providing solutions for the cost associated with peer review and the efforts put into making sure that research integrity standards are upheld.

At Morressier, our advanced technology and innovative workflows remove the bottlenecks involved in scholarly publishing while creating revenue opportunities for publishers.   

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.

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