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Discussing Open Access in action

The 24 October marks the beginning of International Open Access Week 2016. This year, the theme is “Open in Action” which attempts to encourage all stakeholders to take further steps to make their work more openly available and encourages others to do the same.

In celebration of this event, we asked some of our Journal Editors to discuss their commitments to Open Access (OA) and how they support their colleagues in making research more accessible.

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“Open Access benefits those based in low- and middle-income countries to be able to access, download, and disseminate research in the field and in their countries. Health Policy and Planning is committed to continue working with OA and continuing to collaborate with organisations in support of OA in the future.”

  Sandra Mouiner-Jack, Editor-in-Chief of Health Policy and Planning

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“My laboratory and I believe that all published papers eventually gather the attention (or notoriety) that they deserve, especially from the people who are most interested in a paper’s particular field of study. For that reason, we think much more about the quality and reliability of our results than about the ultimate publication destination for any particular manuscript. When we do decide to write up and publish, we strongly favour Open Access solutions and corresponding open release and access to our primary data. Following a policy of openness at all times has never failed to reward us after publication through the interest and feedback from colleagues and competitors in our chosen field.”

Barry Stoddard, Senior Executive Editor of Nucleic Acids Research

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“In my experience Open Access papers are more widely read, shared, and cited than those behind paywalls, particularly in poor or middle-income countries. And OA is of particular importance during viral outbreaks, such as Zika and Ebola, which is a topic that Virus Evolution covers.”

Oliver Pybus, Editor-in-Chief of Virus Evolution

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“It is official, we now live on an urban planet. Urban dwellers everywhere are experiencing unprecedented social and ecological changes as a result of urban population growth. Over the last 25 years there has been an emergence of what I refer to as ‘urban practitioners’ which includes architects, engineers, landscape architects, urban planners, park and land managers, urban ecologists, social scientists, and policy makers to name few. In an effort to create more liveable cities they are employing evidence based research and information into their work. Much of this information is published in peer reviewed journals that are not accessible to many of these ‘urban practitioners’ who function outside academic institutions. Providing Open Access of this critical information would facilitate the creation of more liveable cities in the future.

“In addition, as new cities are created, especially in developing countries, they also face formidable challenges regarding energy, water, waste management, pollution, and food production. Fortunately, there is a vast knowledge base that exists within our libraries and electronic databases created by engineers, designers, planners, ecologists, social scientists and educators who built, manage, and study our well established cities which are primarily located in the developed northern temperate regions of our planet. Unfortunately, much of this information is unavailable to ‘urban practitioners’ in developing countries because they cannot afford access to these resources. Providing Open Access to the information published on existing cities would greatly assist developing countries in addressing their future challenges resulting from their growing urban population.”

Mark J. McDonnell, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Urban Ecology

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“The benefits of scholarship in general, and research funded by society in particular should be freely available. I believe that the world of scientific publishing needs to respond to this challenge and I am delighted to take on the role of editor in chief of an Open Access journal with a clear focus on making medicine accessible – not just to the medical community – but also to patients. We plan to encourage our colleagues to submit to Open Access journals where their work can reach beyond an elite group of professionals who can afford to pay access charges. We believe that this will allow both lay and professional readers across the world to share the excitement of scientific discovery. The question is not whether Open Access publication has a future – the question is how we, as a community, work together to shape it.”

Siladitya Bhattacharya, Editor-in-Chief, Human Reproduction Open

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“Open Access journals are the future for scientific publishing, it is only a matter of time until all journals will be Open Access. Access through print is disappearing and scientists today access nearly everything online. The traditional selection of specific journals due to subscription rates and impact is gone, as citations and simply access by all scientists has no limitations in Open Access journals. Although you may disagree with the shift in publishing, the paradigm shift has occurred.”

Michael Skinner, Editor-in-Chief, Environmental Epigenetics

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“One of the most compelling things about the Open Access movement is how it continues to inspire people into taking action and how it compels all parties to change our established ideas of scholarly communication. The call to action has seen responses from the entire spectrum of scholarly research, from individuals such as Joseph McArthur and David Carroll (inventors of the Open Access Button), to funders and political entities like the EU Competitiveness Council calling for immediate open access for scientific papers by 2020, and publishers having to develop new platforms to meet an increasing demand for more access to research and data. Amongst all of this action we are finding ever more interesting and novel innovations that are helping make scholarly communication an increasingly open process.”

Nikul Patel, OUP Open Access Publisher

Featured image: Open Book library by lil_foot_. Public Domain via Pixabay.

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