Open access is good for researchers and universities, but how does it support us in achieving our mission?
It is generally agreed that publishing open access increases citations, although there is debate about the magnitude of this effect. Gold OA (publisher version) tends to be more effective than green OA (self-archived), likely due to the public visibility of the different sources. Open access articles are more likely to be read, shared, tweeted, and cited.
So, open access is good for researchers and universities – BUT how does it support us in achieving our mission?
ACU is committed to the pursuit of knowledge, the dignity of the human person and the common good; and we encourage staff and students to use their knowledge in ways that contribute to our local, national and international communities. Open access articles are available to anyone, not just those that can afford to pay for a subscription or access an individual article, making our research more accessible.
So, rather than our research being read only by our colleagues, it can be read by everyone who is interested in our findings:
Academics and students in developing countries have access to research findings; enabling them to participate in the international research community in their discipline.
Doctors and health professionals can access information on the latest findings from medical research and make better decisions in treating their patients.
Policy makers can access the most up-to-date findings and develop evidence-based policies.
NGOs and community groups can learn from the successes and failures of previous interventions and maximize the outcomes they can achieve with limited budgets.
Members of the public can increase their understanding of the world they live in.
Open access can increase our visibility (and citations). More importantly, it means that our findings are available to those who are most directly impacted by, and can most benefit from, our research.
Professor Sandra Jones
Pro Vice-Chancellor, Engagement
Director, Centre for Health and Social Research (CHaSR)