27 October 2016

Open Access Week: Choosing an OA Option

So far, I have mentioned two broad options for making your work Open Access: the "green OA" route, or self-archiving your pre-/postprint in a repository of some kind. The advantage of this option is that you can continue to publish in your preferred journal, e.g., the Journal of Refugee Studies, yet still make a version of your work freely available. The disadvantage is that many traditional journal publishers impose embargoes on when a postprint can become freely available. Embargo periods range anywhere from zero to 24 months or longer, depending on the journal, where the eprint was deposited, whether the research was funded, etc. (This table provides a comparative view of embargo periods in key refugee/forced migration journals.)

By contrast, "gold OA" ensures immediate availability of an article. However, choosing this route will require - at least initially - reviewing a wide range of unfamiliar journals in order to identify a suitable title. Moreover, many of these titles (though certainly not all) charge a publication fee (also known as an Article Processing Fee (APC)). As noted in yesterday's post, the DOAJ is one resource that can help you begin to locate appropriate OA journals for your work. (See also this comparative table for a brief list of OA refugee/forced migration journals and their features.)

A third OA alternative is a kind of combination of green and gold OA. Referred to as "hybrid OA," this option allows authors to 1) publish in their conventional journal of choice, 2) make their articles immediately available (no embargo), 3) but only upon payment of an APC. The disadvantage of this route is that APCs charged for hybrid OA are significantly higher than gold OA APCs (noting again, that not all gold OA journals even charge APCs). (This table lists the APCs that key refugee/forced migration journals charge for hybrid OA.)

OA trends observed on my blog:

To put things in perspective, the total number of journal articles I referenced in 2015 was 542. This includes: self-archived articles, articles published in gold OA journals, hybrid OA articles, articles that were made freely available by publishers (usually this is on a temporary basis), some article abstracts (for information purposes only), and articles that have been posted online in full-text but not necessarily with permission to do so!

All in all, around 62% of the total number of journal articles I referenced during 2015 were some form of open access, broken down as follows:

257 = gold OA (in 157 different journals; includes both libre and gratis OA journals))
60 = green OA (with most deposited in institutional repositories and SSRN)
21= hybrid OA

So that is what other forced migration authors are doing to make their work open access. What will you do? Here is another handy guide prepared by OA advocate Peter Suber to help you take action!

Tagged Web Sites/Tools.

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