Open Access, if it is to grow, needs help through promotion and financial support. Any initiative that aids the development of Open Access and its dissemination is greatly welcomed, especially when “the big players” such as Google are involved. Yesterday, Google together with PLOS, the Wellcome Trust and 24 other organizations launched a new award program for open access science.
Science Europe announces its strong position on OA: “Open Access no later than six months after ﬁrst publication; NO for hybrid model”
Science Europe is an association of 51 European national research organisations, represented by the European Research Funding Organisations (RFO) and the Research Performing Organisations (RPO), based in Brussels, and it promotes the collective interests of the Research Funding and Research Performing Organisations of Europe. Today, Science Europe has published its position statement on Open Access.
Mandating Open Access is one of the most efficient ways to introduce and implement this publishing model in science. Despite the opinion that it may violate the freedom of scientific research, without official policies introduced by governments and backed up by the state funding, Open Access will not be able to develop. We can observe even now that governments are moving in that direction in Australia or the UK. Moreover, a good climate for Open Access has been also created in the US (see: White House Delivers New Open Access Policy), which is shown by the recent initiative in California.
Open Access is right now quite a hot topic. It is discussed by the scientific community, implemented by governments and introduced across other areas of social life. However, OA still needs proper promotion to reach the largest possible audience. A greater number of institutions and universities become aware of this issue and they take a more proactive stance in promoting Open Access.
The major problem for scholars who want to publish in Open Access journals is the lack of funds; at least at first sight, because more and more universities offer special funds for this purpose. However, it is sometimes quite difficult to find information about the new or existing programs. Here are two new examples.
Open Access can be a useful tool for young scientists at the beginning of their academic career. OA increases the number of article downloads and the level of citations. Thanks to that, a young researcher’s article has a better chance of being noticed by the scientific community as well as the lay reader. Open Access may be a great opportunity not only for young researchers but also for undergraduate authors who take their first step on the academic career path.