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Open Access Publications
Open Access publications refer to the kind of literature that are freely accessible to everyone and are not bound by price and permission barriers, unlike the scientific literature published via the subscription mode.
Although the concept of Open Access publication is not entirely new and has been around for several years, people have begun to realize its importance only recently. The sudden change in perceptions is largely due to the increased and easy internet usage as well as support from government, educational and research institutions, and other funding agencies.
In order to expand the knowledge base and advance the development of science, scientists require unrestricted access to relevant scientific data and scholarly literature. However, limitations in terms of copyright and licensing issues tends to slow down the affectivity of scientific communication. While such first-hand literature is almost completely inaccessible to the less funded universities and educational institutions, even the scholars of universities situated in developed countries are finding it difficult to access some of the specialized literature because of expensive subscription requirements. Therefore, it is essential to bring about a complete transformation in the accessibility of scholarly literature to function effectively in this rapidly changing technological environment.
Contrary to the issues surrounding subscription journals, Open Access journals enable easy access to any published literature through freely available digitalized copies. The full text of Open Access publications can be freely read via internet. Besides free reading, Open Access publications are also permitted to be downloaded and re-used without any barriers.
Other than the authors’ control over the reliability of their work and their right to be properly acknowledged and cited, there is no other constraint in terms of copyrights and licensing. Since authors of scholarly journal articles write to create an impact and attract wider audience, than just generate revenue from copyright laws, most of them are opting for the Open Access mode of publication.
Although the benefits of Open Access are quite apparent, the controversy regarding the quality and peer-review process in Open Access journals is an ongoing debate. Many prominent scientists are skeptical on the quality of the content published in Open Access journals owing to the belief that there is no rigorous peer-review process. Contrary to these widespread misconceptions, Open Access Publications are rigorously peer reviewed and adhere to strict norms of acceptance for publication.