Tag Archives: journals

Open Access or Shut Down?

13 Mar


Interning at a journal publisher, I feel the pressure of open access. Open access is requiring a whole new business model – one where the author pays. Following the Finch Report, at the NUJ (National Union of Journalists) seminar on the 6th February 2013, publishers have been worried that the importance of the editorial process is being overlooked.

The editorial process is behind the scenes and often authors don’t see it. There are peer reviews, copy editors, proof readers, fact checkers and designers to create layouts in various formats, to name a few. I cannot be the only one who sees value in this process? As a student I know how hard it can be to research without access to articles and not having the money to buy access, so why shouldn’t the authors pay? Someone has to. In the academic world having your work published is a form of validation, increases reputation and gives their work a global appeal.

Moreover without the editorial process, what integrity and value will an article have? I know academics and students will not base work and reference from articles that have not been proof read, fact checked and peer reviewed – that’s why students are not allowed to reference Wikipedia! Because, while people who actually know what they are talking about may write appropriate entries, you could not trust the integrity of the content. 

So while I am willing to open the gate for open access, people need to remember how important a publisher is, they add quality, reliability and integrity to content. Yet publishing is also a business, which people need to remember, so if subscription fees go – fees need to applied elsewhere.