Whether you are studying, researching, teaching, publishing—or simply interested in the open web, open knowledge, open learning and open data—it won’t have escaped you that next week is International Open Access Week. All over the world, groups are pulling together some fantastic events: there are webinars, seminars and competitions, many of them freely open to anyone who can attend.
I will be doing my bit for the DOAJ, presenting at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden on why the DOAJ is such a useful tool for researchers who want to publish in quality, open access journals. It was recently estimated that there are at least 114 million scholarly papers on the web. With that much information available, consumers of scholarly information need as much help as they can get to find high quality, relevant material in as little time as possible. That figure also implies that there are a huge amount of journals out there, so finding the right journal to publish in can be difficult.
However, DOAJ is a useful tool within the open access movement in other ways too:
Open access publishing is not only about freeing up research for use by all but is also an extremely important medium for those smaller publishers who need to keep overheads to a minimum. DOAJ has a longtail of single-journal publishers and indeed those “publishers” are sometimes one man- or one woman-operations putting out a journal because they have a passion for the field that they work in. DOAJ’s aim is to raise the profile of all high quality, peer-reviewed, open access journals. We want to give equal visibility to the small alongside the large, the obscure alongside the popular, with equal footing and on a neutral platform.
Open access also allows developing nations to have access to life-saving research, and join in topical research debates, that otherwise would have been unavailable to them. DOAJ sees a consistently high amount of traffic from developing countries and providing an entrance to this content is just as vital as the exposure that we provide for the publishers.
If you’d like to find out more about some of the events for open access week, try searching in Twitter, Facebook or Google using these hashtags: