Varying degrees of open access

Categories: Open Access
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Published on: October 26, 2012

One of the things that this summer’s GARNet workshop, Making Data Accessible to All, made Ruth and I think about was the varying degrees of open access allowed by publishers. All journals accommodate open access, as some funding bodies now demand all research undertaken with their funds be published open access. This service is not free, so it will usually only be used when the funding body demands it. If open access is something you feel strongly about, PLOS have a useful ‘Open Access Spectrum,’ which can be used to judge journals on an open access grid. This may be useful in thinking about where to publish your work.

Publishing policies vary enormously. Some subscription-only journals allow open access after an embargo period of between six months and two years. Some journals allow authors to put their papers or toll-free links to the article on their personal websites or databases like PubMed Central if they chose to (sometimes immediately, sometimes after a set period of time), and others forbid any publication of their articles anywhere except the official, subscriber-only, journal website. It’s always worth a quick search for your paper if you can’t access it through the publisher – there could be an unofficial (but legal!) version or toll-free link out there somewhere!

There is information about specific plant journals below (feel free to leave a comment if I’ve missed anything out), but since it’s Friday, here is a slightly surreal and extremely one-sided video about academic publishing – thanks to aoholcombe:


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