Becoming “open”: is publishing in open access journals possible?[1]


What’s wrong?
  • Many academics/institutions don’t have access to literature they need
  • The cost of closed journals is often prohibitively high
  • This lack of access is a global problem, especially in developing countries
  • Closed journals may not be in the interest of the best research
  • Researchers may lose rights to and control over their own work

Yet, the alternative of Open Access publishing holds many concerns, especially for early-career researchers, including:
  • I will be hiding my work away in less visible (low prestige) journals.
  • I must relegate my work to low impact (low IF) journals.
  • Peer review will be of low quality.
  • I will not get a job/grant/tenure.
  • It will cost too much.

Myth 1: Open Access provides less visibility

Myth 2: It would require publishing in low Impact Factor journals
  • The scientific community has begun to find IFs have extended [[occamstypewriter.org/scurry/2012/08/13/sick-of-impact-factors|well past their original intention]], and can often hide more than they reveal about the quality of the research.
  • But decide for yourself, and seek out journals with impacts you desire.

Myth 3: Peer review at OA journals is poor quality
  • Retraction rate is highest in high IF subscription journals
  • No controlled study comparing peer review in subscription vs. OA journals
  • Bohannon `sting' did not look at peer review in subscription journals
  • Bohannon `sting' found reputable OA publishers rejected spoof paper
  • Peer review can be very transparent in OA journals. E.g. you may be able to read the entire peer review history (all reviews and changes)
  • OA journals offering open peer review include BioMed Central, PeerJ, F1000 Research, and GigaScience. [And many others, such as the Journal of World-Systems Research]

Myth 4: I won't get a job, grants, or tenure
  • Over 500 organizations and 12,000 individuals have signed the American Society for Cell Biology’s [[am.ascb.org/dora|Declaration on Research Assessment]], pledging:
  1. Not to consider journal-based metrics (JIF) in hiring, promotion, or funding decisions
  2. The content of a paper will be weighed more heavily in evaluations than the journal in which it was published
  3. To consider the value and impact of all research outputs

Myth 5: OA publishing costs too much
  • Many OA journals do not charge.
  • Journals like PeerJ have one-time, low-cost membership fees.
  • Many journals have waivers.
  • Many institutions have OA publisher memberships.
  • Many institutions have OA publishing funds.
  • Some funders have started charities to cover OA fees.
  • Self-archiving costs nothing and is a great way to be open. You have many options, such as through figshare, arxiv, bioRxiv , institutional repositories, and personal websites.
  • There are increasingly more institutional repositories for open data across the globe, including [[lareferencia.redclara.net/rfr|LA Referencia]], REMERI, and Redalyc. These repositories also allow you to generate bibliometric and usage data for evaluation at no cost.

What it really means to publish openly
  • Researchers in developing countries can see your work
  • More exposure for your work
  • Practitioners can apply your findings
  • Higher citation rates
  • Can influence policy
  • The broader public can access your work
  • Compliant with grant rules
  • Taxpayers get value for money

Advice to Early Career Researchers (ECRs)

Discussing OA with your mentor
  • Ask your mentor for a meeting to discuss publishing options
  • Put together concise (15 mins max) presentation on benefits of OA
  • Include data (lack of access worldwide, advancements made through open science, citation advantage)
  • Explain how your work and the lab could benefit from being open
  • Create a list of OA options and share this list with your mentor
  • If your mentor insists on a toll access journal, discuss submitting an author addendum
  • Start these discussions EARLY!!
  • From interview with [[arcscon.tumblr.com/post/84942060277/advocating-for-openness|ARCSCon ]]

How to support ECRs in being open
  • LISTEN! LISTEN! LISTEN!
  • Lead by example - be open and others will see benefits
  • Be receptive - answer emails, tweets, questions from ECRs about OA
  • Say yes to giving tutorials, guest lectures, talks at meetings
  • Do not consider where people publish in making hiring, grant, or tenure decisions
  • Write open access publishing funds into your grants
  • Create incentives for being open

How do we encourage sharing?
  • Educate researchers
  • Have clear policies on citation of primary data
  • Recognize data sharing in tenure and promotion
  • Provide financial support for data preparation
  • Develop infrastructure for data deposit and storage (see Roche et al. 2014)

Take-home messages
  • There does not have to be a conflict between being open and being successful.
  • Being open does not have to hurt your career - it can help it!
  • At any stage of your career, you have the right to stand up for your beliefs.
  • If you believe in openness, stand up for it. Make it happen.
  • Opening up academia starts with you and the choices you make.
  • Know your rights - don't sign them away
  • In sum...don't lock up your research!

Pledge to be open!
  • I will not edit, review, or work for closed access journals.
  • I will blog my work and post preprints, when possible.
  • I will publish only in open access journals.
  • I will not publish in Cell, Nature, or Science.
  • I will pull my name off a paper if coauthors refuse to be open.
  • If I am going to 'make it' in science, it has to be on terms I can live with.



[1] Adapted from McKiernan, Erin C. (2014). Culture change in academia: Making sharing the new norm. In: University of Pittsburgh Open Access Week 2014, 22 Oct 2014, Pittsburgh, USA. (Unpublished)