Challenges of Open Access
There are some hurdles and disadvantages that are sometimes mentioned as reasons not to practice Open Access. We have listed the extent to which they apply or also to which they can be counteracted below:
- Fear of losing control over your own research results: But copyright laws also apply in principle to publication in Open Access. What’s more you can use open content licences like the Creative Commons licence according to your own preference if you publish text or data.
- Less visibility and prestige: It’s a myth that publication in Open Access would adversely affect visibility and prestige. In fact, the opposite is true: Open Access leads to more visibility and citations.
- Open Access means publishing in journals with a low impact factor: On the one hand, we could point out that impact factor is not the single most important thing. But if it is nevertheless very important to you, it is possible to search for Open Access journals with impact factor in Clarivate.
- Open Access journals and their Peer Review are of lower quality: This too is a myth, particularly since Peer Review in Open Access is often designed transparently – something that tends to increase quality. What’s more, it’s possible to counteract the danger of substandard predatory journals by checking certain points.
- Open Access has a negative effect on career and funding opportunities: According to DORA (Declaration on Research Assessment) signed by more than 500 organisations and 12,000 individuals, journal-based metrics should not be taken into consideration for career-based or funding decisions. The content of a paper should play a greater role than the journal in which it is published, and the value and the impact of all research output should be taken into account. What’s more, these days Open Access is often a prerequisite for obtaining funding possibilities.
- Open Access costs too much: Open Access doesn’t have to cost anything, or at least not very much. After all, self-archiving costs nothing at all. In many Open Access journals, it is not necessary to pay APC fees to publish an article, and if they are levied, there are also financial support possibilities. One problem of Open Access is, however, that the term is sometimes deliberately or carelessly weakened and used also for products and business models that are not open. This is also the case for chargeable journals that offer to publish accepted papers also individually in Open Access in the context of a hybrid model. This leads to misunderstandings and makes the situation even more confusing.
- Open Access leads to an increase in the flood of publications: The fact that, owing to the APC model, many publishers are starting new OA journals cannot be denied.