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Open Access Journals

  • Open Access journals are relatively new mediums of scholarly publication that are highly advantageous over the previously followed methods of subscription based publication. The open access journals provide unrestricted and permanent access to scientific publications. In addition to free access to research articles, Open Access publications also facilitates the confluence of scientific disciplines, which was previously impossible due to the restricted access of publications. Furthermore, the subscription based journals were separated by discrete classifications of topic, field or discipline, which further hindered their application in distantly related scientific disciplines.
  • In an Open Access world, all the disciplines come together and share their findings, thereby aiding the scientists to learn from the research of other disciplines. Thus, Open Access journals promote growth and understanding of the underlying concepts of multifarious scientific disciplines.
  • Open Access journals are characterized by scholarly works, efficient quality control mechanisms such as copy editing and editorial oversight, similar to conventional journals; use of digital formats; and unlike the conventional subscription journals, making all the articles freely available. They may also allow authors to retain their copyrights, and usually use Creative Commons or similar licenses.
  • Many Open Access journals adhere to a rigorous peer review process for maintaining the quality and originality of each published articles. Depending upon the quality and scientific impact of the Open Access journals, they may also be included in conventional indexing databases.
  • Open Access to scholarly journal literature can be achieved by two strategies.

    1) Self-Archiving is one strategy where scholars require the tools and assistance to place their refereed journal articles in open electronic archives. Self-archiving articles can be either preprints or post prints. Preprints are draft versions that have not undergone peer review or editorial review and modification. The exchange of preprints among scientific authors, prior to the internet age, was done by postal service mail, fax, FTP servers, Gopher servers, and other means. Post prints are the final published versions of articles. They can either include publisher's version of the article or an updated preprint created by the author to reflect changes made during the peer review and editorial processes.

    2) Open Access journals are the second strategy that is committed to complete Open Access and used by scholars to launch their research papers for wider dissemination and unlimited access. Contrary to subscription journals, price is not a barrier to access, as these new journals will not charge subscription or access fees, and will cover their expenses by other means. Open Access journals use contracts with authors for copyright permissions and avoid violations.
  • In conclusion, Open Access journals will allow scientific research to go beyond the national and professional barriers and provide an opportunity for the scientific community to improve their citation impact and enhance their readability for further growth and development of science and technology.