Michael Eisen, an acclaimed biologist at UC Berkeley and co-founder of the Public Library of Science, has resolved to change the way scientific findings are circulated. His PLOS publishes some of the widest and most prestigious academic papers in the world. He aims to provide open access, meaning anyone having internet connection can read them for free. Currently, most research papers are locked behind paywalls, and unlocking those documents costs hundreds of dollars per article. This prevents the general public and scientists from being updated about new researches although they are funded by U.S. taxpayers. PLOS has started an initiative called open science movement to break up the academic publishing conglomerate.
The latest in the battle over open-access and subscription policies of Elsevier and an association of German libraries, universities, and research institutes is the resignation of five leading German scientists from the editorial board of journals published by Elsevier. The researchers want Elsevier to accept a new payment model that would make all papers authored by Germany-based researchers open access.
JAMA Network is in the process of launching a new fully open-access journal containing clinical research across all medical disciplines, JAMA Network Open. It is planned to be launched in early 2018.
Reference Link: https://wire.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/jama-network-launch-fully-open-access-journal
Nature Research in its attempt to increase the options for authors to choose open access publishing has added three new high quality, open access multidisciplinary journals: Communications Biology, Communications Chemistry and Communications Physics. The journals will be available online only.
As subscription and open access publication charges skyrocket, self-archiving has become the sought after mode for gaining high citations for research paper. This method of archiving allows the works of researchers to reach out to maximum number of people- peers in the research fraternity and also the common people. This helps maximize research impact by guaranteeing open access to all, regardless of their ability to pay.
What is self-archiving?
It is the practice of putting digital versions of scientific literature online making it freely available on the Internet for everyone to view. In other words, self-archiving makes your research widely visible, accessible, searchable, and useable, thereby increasing its reach and impact, and in the processing increasing the number of citations it receives.
When to self-archive?
Research paper can be self-archived either before the peer review process commences or after it has been peer reviewed and published.
Version of the paper printed before the peer review process begins is known as pre-print. Whereas refereed post-print is that version of the paper which is printed after the paper has been reviewed and published. All versions of papers available online are referred to as e-prints.
Where to self-archive?
Research articles can be self-archived in electronic repositories or on personal servers.
- Institutional repositories: Many universities provide scholars from their institutions to upload there research online for their peers to have free access to their work.
- Subject-based repositories: Some online repositories are subject specific and are every popular in that subject area. For example, PubMed for biomedical studies; arXiv most popularly for physics, mathematics, and computer science.
- Personal servers: Researchers upload their work on their personal web pages or some social networking sites specially created for researchers like ResearchGate.
There are two ways of self-archiving- green open access and gold open access. Most journals now days are providing authors these methods to help them increase citations of their work. Self-archiving is considered the future of archiving of paper where the authors as well as readers can without paying exorbitant price share as well as access researches and get information about the latest development happening.
Sci-Hub or Scientific Hub is an open access online search engine that has gained popularity in the academic publishing industry in recent years. It is a repository of scholarly works with more than 58,000,000 published researches that are available for free and can be directly downloaded by the scholars.
How does it work?
Users can look up publications based on three search criteria: URL of the article, digital object identifier (DOI), and text search. The platform searches for the particular article in its library called Library Genesis (LibGen). If the platform is not able to locate the publication in LibGen, it tries to do so by using various institutional access systems. This can also enable access to articles published in the subscription mode by bypassing the paywall. These articles are usually donated by scholars or publishers.
Benefits of using Sci-Hub
This is a hub for not only research articles but other forms of research publications like monographs, books, book chapters, and so on. It offers free access to most of these researches and saves both money and time of the users. Sci-Hub shares similar goals as open access journals, making many scholarly publications available to anyone who searches for them. The site seeks to remove barriers to science through clear hints of piracy for those who cannot afford to pay the high subscription charges levied by journals or publication houses.
Sci-Hub has accomplished certain important breakthroughs. Its ambit covers many publications by scientists or researchers who have opted to publish in open access journals that can be accessed by anyone. In addition, it has brought academic publishing to the mainstream. As scientific credibility mostly depends on scientific publications, most of the chargeable journals own the copyright for their published articles. In this scenario, Sci-Hub helps researchers access these articles without any hidden cost.