Skip to content

[ Tools for researchers ] October 19, 2022

The future of open access

The Open Access (OA) movement is gaining traction, and in the wake of the recent OSTP memo, the scientific community is calling for freely accessible research and more transparent principles within scholarly publishing. What does the future of open access publishing look like? What trends are dominating the OA landscape?

Zero embargos

Journals have found ways to retain the traditional subscription-based business model while also embracing new, innovative open access principles. Delayed open access journals provide users with free access to published research after the expiry of an embargo period, which can range from a few months to several years. During this embargo period, researchers or institutions must pay a subscription charge in order to gain access. 

This model allows journals to both support OA and gain revenue from subscriptions, thus growing their member base and community. Yet, by restricting access to valuable research for a certain period, this model prevents researchers and the general public from exploring and building upon findings while they’re still relevant. Research moves fast and keeping important results behind paywalls even for a 12 or 24 month period can slow the speed of scientific progress. As we previously wrote, this year’s OSTP memo ushered in a new era of scholarly publishing, encouraging journals to adopt zero embargo periods to provide immediate access to scholarly outputs. 

But how will this affect subscription rates and revenue streams for publishers and journals?

 

Transformative agreements

Transformative agreements (TA) are negotiated contracts between a publisher and their institution. These agreements allow authors to make their work openly accessible with the support of their institution, while avoiding costly APCs (article processing charges). As part of these agreements, institutions supply publishers with the revenue that is typically gained through subscription charges.

Transformative agreements can come in the form of ‘read and publish’  or ‘publish and read’ models. In ‘read and publish' agreements publishers receive payments for both reading and publishing, while in ‘publish and read’ models  the publisher receives payment only for publishing and reading comes at no extra cost. Restricted TA models can limit the amount of articles that can be published under an agreement, yet many publishers and institutions are stepping into a new unbridled future in scholarly publishing by embracing unlimited open access TAs. However, there are still limits to the far-reaching potential of TAs, especially for institutions in the Global South that may find these contracts too expensive. Still, the growing prevalence of these contracts is ushering in a new era for scholarly publishing and transforming our industry from a subscription-based system toward open access practices.

 

Research integrity

As new trends maximize scholarly outputs and accelerate the open access movement, it’s become even more important to ensure that the information that we share is reliable and trustworthy. The recent OSTP memo outlines that we must ‘[e]stablish transparent procedures that ensure scientific and research integrity is maintained in public access policies.’ As we openly disseminate scientific findings throughout a wider and more extensive community, we also need to work even harder to fight against rogue practices like plagiarism and citation manipulation. This prevents other researchers from building on fraudulent results and also protects the general public from making decisions and forming opinions based on inaccurate information. Moving forward, how can we make sure we support research integrity while keeping up with the rapid speed of the OA movement?

 

 

A seamless future

 

Insightful analytics

The key to keeping track of trends within the scholarly world is starting early. At Morressier, we’ve created a home for early-stage research. On our platform, powerful analytics can help you monitor research trends, gauge interest, and spot the early-stage ideas that can later lead to journal articles in open access publications. Through our Research Libraries, we provide our partners with a 360 degree view of user data, paving the way for them to become discipline leaders.

 

Integrated platforms

As open access grows and the volume of research produced expands each year, we must step into the future and embrace digital transformation to keep up with the flow of information. Our innovative tools and end-to-end solutions pave the way for the faster and more widespread dissemination of research. We also provide integrity checks that help detect scientific misconduct before research is shared so we can increase quantity without sacrificing quality.

 

Conclusion

The future of open access is bright, but only with the right tools at work. When societies and publishers are empowered by innovative technology, they can reach new heights of scientific data sharing.

Get in touch with our team to learn more about how our advanced technology and streamlined workflows are paving the way for the future of open access.