20 June 2012

UK report encourages open access publishing

A UK report produced by an independent working group encourages the publishing of scientific articles in ‘open access’ journals.

The report arose from Science Minister David Willetts’ desire to examine how to increase access to research published in peer-reviewed publications. Due to the administrative costs associated with peer reviewing, many journals charge a fee to access single research articles.

However, it is also possible for the author or funding body to pay a larger one-off fee to the journal in order to make the article freely available on the journal’s website. It is this method of publication that the report encourages, due to the likely growth of this publishing model.

 The model is encouraged for a variety of  
 reasons, including moral and economic. The
 working group chair, Dame Janet Finch,
 suggests that especially research funded by
 public bodies ought to be published as open
 access articles, stating this as a moral
 obligation of the funding body. Equally, since
 industry would have a wider access to  
 relevant research, the open access model  
 could encourage economic development.    

Publishing houses such as Wiley-Blackwell stated that the move to the open access model will continue but that there remains a role for academic publishers due to their stringent review process. 

Center for UNIK Synthetic Biology embraces open access publishing as an excellent avenue for continued knowledge sharing. This is in addition to the growth of DIY bio groups and the BioBricks Foundation, both of which the Center are engaged with.

The following links will direct you to two exclusively open access journals.


http://peerj.com/  (begins accepting submissions summer 2012)