Guest Editorial: Open Access: Principles, Practice, and Potential – ACS Omega (ACS Publications)

“As working scientists, many of us become imbued (by processes of which few are conscious) with the principles articulated by Robert Merton that hold science to be a collective and cumulative activity in which the core responsibility is to communicate knowledge—even if it is distorted by career incentives that focus less on the substance of our accomplishments than where they are published. The duty of communication is primarily to other scholars, but from the formation of the very first learned societies the scientific community has a sense of its public obligations.

That sense of duty has been sharpened by the arrival of open access and extended by governments seeking better returns on public investment in research. The Finch report’s statement in 2012 that “The principle that the results of research that has been publicly funded should be freely accessible in the public domain is a compelling one, and fundamentally unanswerable” captured the zeitgeist and was accepted without demur by the UK government.(4) Similar proclamations have been made by administrations in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere.

Of course, words are cheaper than actions, and open access has yet to deliver fully on the promise of providing faster, fairer, and cheaper access to research information. In part this is due to historical baggage. The entanglement of the principles of scholarly communication with increased commercializm in publishing and with rising managerialism in university governance has intensified our preoccupation with journal-based measures of prestige. That has retarded the dissemination of knowledge as authors chase impact factors and locked in the market advantages of the largest publishers.(2)”

Pushing the boundaries: Science Advances | Science Advances

Science Advances was launched on February 2015 at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in San Jose, California, as the online, open-access expansion of Science magazine. Science Advances, like its older sibling, covers the full gamut of scientific disciplines, including (but not limited to) earth and space sciences; ecology, evolution, and environmental biology; biomedical, biological, and neuroscience; social sciences; and chemical, computational, mathematical, and physical sciences as well as applied sciences and engineering. We publish research articles and reviews that illuminate the leading edge of national and international research, both within and across scientific disciplines….”

OLH Launches | Open Library of Humanities

“It is with great pleasure that we announce the launch of the Open Library of Humanities. Over two years in the planning and execution, the platform starts with seven journals, supported by 99 institutions. Our estimated publication volume for year one is 150 articles across these venues. The economics of this work out at approximately £4 ($6) per institution per open-access article …”