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[ FUTURE OF PUBLISHING ] December 15, 2022

The year in review: Highlights on 2022 Open Access trends

Open Access is fast evolving at different paces around the world, and stakeholders on both sides of the divide are finding a way forward. 2022 saw new policies introduced regarding Open Access, among other trends, as discussed below.

What is Open Access?

Before getting into detail on the Open Access trends in 2022, it's essential to understand what Open Access is and the reason for the research community’s focus on it over the years. Publishing Open Access simply means making your research freely accessible to anyone, anywhere, without any form of barrier. However, there are types of Open Access, and authors need to understand the different forms and make better decisions on how and where they choose to publish their manuscripts. Types of Open Access include; 


Green Open Access

This is a form of access where author-accepted content is published in institutional or subject-specific repositories for access. However, there may be licences that specify how the content can be used.


Gold Open Access

This involves publishing in fully Open Access journals where published content is accessible without restriction. In some cases, the author or their institution may be charged article processing fees. 


Diamond Open Access

Diamond Open Access journals are usually community-driven, and the content published is free for readers to access.


Hybrid Open Access

This form of access involves paying article processing charges (APCs) to make specific content Open Access in a subscription-based journal.


International Open Access week 2022

The International Open Access week, which took place between October 24-30, 2022, highlights the potential benefits of Open Access publishing models. Now in its fifth year, this global event themed; “Climate Justice” was aimed at inspiring stakeholders to see the need for Open Access in research and scholarship around the climate movement.

Tackling climate change requires rapid and efficient sharing of information across regions of the world without barriers or embargos, and Open Access is particularly a key factor in this movement. The 2022 Open Access week created an opportunity for more discussion on open research and effective ways of sharing and disseminating new knowledge.

 

OSTP Memo

Publishers are often the access point for new scientific knowledge, but students, professors, doctors and other world learners are often denied access when content is locked behind paywall journals. For this and other reasons, government policies have been enhanced for full public access to publicly funded research, as seen in the OSTP memo released in August 2022. This memo is the latest in a series of government-driven regulations, such as Plan S in the EU. The OSTP memo is specifically targeted at White House federally funded research, which the public can often only access at high journal subscription prices. Although there are many advantages to the new policy, it may cause publishers to start rejecting public-funded research or levy article publishing fees on the authors involved. This is still a hotly discussed topic in the scholarly publishing industry, and it will be interesting to see how publishers adjust to these new policies.

 

What does the future hold for Open Access

As the publishing industry continues to advance and adopt innovative workflows, the prospects for an Open Access future remain bright. With more and more journals gradually embracing Open Access principles, we will continue to see a shift in how the scientific community disseminates new findings. 

However, stakeholders must devise measures to ensure revenue sustainability as OA gains traction. Additionally, Open Access is an important factor in research integrity, and greater openness in research will allow for seamless ability to validate and reproduce research results at scale.

 

Conclusion

Moving forward, the drive for an Open Access future is bound to unlock new publishing opportunities. But publishers and the scientific community must embrace innovations and cultural shifts to ensure efficiency and revenue sustainability in sharing scientific research.

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