Open Access Publication and its Significance

Hundreds and thousands of articles are published every year irrespective of their category and subject in about 25,000 journals worldwide. Published research works and articles help in laying a foundation for future progress in medicine and healthcare developments. This aim of publicizing the new successful researches is possible when the articles published in journals are accessed by the people without any restrictions. The open access can help in disseminating knowledge by promoting the innovations and the solutions to the prevailing incurable problems in medicine and healthcare.

The readership of the open access journals are more in comparison to the subscription mode of publication. This mode of publication increases the number of readers and significantly increases the citations per article rate.

The more the research articles are freely accessible, the more are its utilizations by the health care providers, clinicians, researchers and students along with the public. This free access to the articles is technically termed as Open Access Publication. This mode of publication make research works more useful by allowing an easy access to it for study or further analyzation and creating a chance for further researches, manipulation and mining of the study/research.

Generally, the research works target those health problems which lack solutions. Even if any researcher or medicine practitioner addresses the proposed solutions to such incurable health problems after conducting numerous researches for it, the result or the findings remains unapproachable by the public and other health care practitioners due to the restrictions on the access of the article by the journals by the subscription mode of publication. One who can subscribe the journal or pay for the article can only access those valuable inventions done in the field of medicine and health care.

Nowadays, the prices of the subscription mode are no longer reasonable for a new researcher, academician or student. Some university libraries pay large amount of fees for subscribing to these journals in order to make their students have an easy access to the journal articles on-line. In some countries, the journal subscription prices are so high that the institutions are incapable of accessing those published up-to-date research articles.

Keeping all these points in mind, some journals have shifted to only open access mode of publications, i.e., they have become Open Access Journal. Such journals make their articles available for free through charging for the publication services before publication, rather than after publication through subscriptions. This initiative might now put an impact of the economic aspects of the research work. As the open access publication charges can be included in research funding, the charge for access is handled by the research funder and not the institute’s library.

We hope this detailed portrayal of the open access publication will be a guide for understanding its impact on the field of research and findings.


Regarding the previous discussion, following are listed some typology of sources.

(a) Scholarly sources

This type of sources includes:

  • Academic or research-based journals,
  • Research monographs,
  • College/University textbooks, and
  • Anthologies of essays on academic disciplines.

Most of the scholarly journals are published by universities or professional bodies, while most of the scholarly books are published by publishers specializing in intense and genuine work. These sources are written in language specific to their discipline, and are always cited by their own sources. Writers of such sources always aim to make their assumptions explicit and clear, to persuade the readers with logical and systematic reasoning rather than emotive appeals or generalizations. The audience for such documents is peers, and students being initiated into the conventions and language expectations of the discipline. As a result, the style and terminology of these sources becomes uneasy or obvious for outsiders. Scholarly sources are the most authoritative, as their writers usually have a professional commitment in keeping constant debates, along with acknowledging and building on the previously received knowledge.

(b) Specialist sources

This type of sources includes:

  • Science magazines,
  • Technology and social topics, and
  • Serious non-fictions, like popular science, etc.

Such type of sources/documents generally aims to inform a non-specialist public about the technical topics in an accessible way, thereby publicizing or popularizing the otherwise discouraging or extra complex concepts. The audience of this type of sources is intended to be an educated and informed reader, who has little expertise on the concerned topic, but has a eagerness to acquire new knowledge; consequently, with a longer attention span than a reader of lower-level documents. Writers of such sources attempt to entertain as well as inform, therefore they are likely to rely more on analogy, metaphor and dramatization than the writers of scholarly sources. However, they do cite sources, even though the technique of integrating these in the text is often different from that in scholarly documents, which use formal referencing styles. Serious non-fiction works often uses similar techniques of referencing as scholarly works. Contrastingly, Specialist magazine articles name their researchers and professional positions in the body of the articles, rather than mentioning them in endnotes or end-of-text references. Moreover, in magazines of this type, the role of visuals becomes important with attention paid to aesthetics of layout and design. Specialist sources are overall an excellent source of information on a rather superficial level. If more depth or analysis is needed, such documents can refer you to the original, more formal sources.

(c) Public sources

This type of sources includes:

  • Governmental documents,
  • Corporate/legal documents, like public statements issued by government agencies, and
  • Corporate information found on organizational websites and in public relations material.

Such types of sources are usually addressed to the general public, the language is clear and unambiguous, and concepts are made as simple as possible. This is especially employed in the governmental and business documents, since the establishment of the Plain English campaign emphasized reader-based aspects of communication, and thus propounded a direct and informal approach to public writing. Documents belonging to this category of sources tend to assume a low attention span, and therefore do not expand on a topic more than is necessary to get their point across. Many have a promotional edge, even when they are not selling a product, they support the issuing organization’s interests; for example, as happens with press releases. Public sources/documents are usually a good source of facts about a corporation or government policy, but they should always be read critically, and interpreted according to the requirements of a specific project. This category includes local newspapers and non-specialized, general interest magazines, as they too address the general public, aiming to appeal to the low common denominator of a community’s interests and sensibilities.

(d) Sensationalist sources

This type of sources bases its information on rumor, fabrication or exaggeration, rather than on any form of empirical or interpretative research. Therefore, these are the least credible type of sources. In fact, they should not be considered as sources of research at all, unless you use them as examples of the distortion of information in the popularization of knowledge. Many popular magazines and newspapers fall into this category, regarding their appeal to thrill and sensation as opposed to any form of truth or reflection. These sources thus appeal to the innocent and entertaining tendencies of their readership.