4 Key Benefits of Open-Access Publishing for Scientists

Open access allows your work to be freely available online anywhere. As long as a rigorous peer review process is maintained, researchers will benefit from having their work read and used by more people, increasing its impact.

It also allows collaboration with scientists from different backgrounds and regions. This can accelerate research, reduce costs, and lead to discoveries.

Increased visibility

Researchers who publish in open-access journals have worldwide visibility, without paywalls or other barriers to knowledge, enabling them to disseminate their research widely and rapidly. As a result, the results of their work can be read, cited, and shared by more people worldwide – including business leaders, policymakers, patients, educators, and public members.

Some of the most prestigious and high-impact science journals, like Bentham Science, remain subscription-based, but scientific funders incentivize scientists to publish their research openly. With liberal licenses, authors who publish OA can archive their accepted manuscripts on their website or in an institutional repository for free public release after an embargo period (Green OA). This can improve interdisciplinary conversation and accelerate the speed of discovery.

Increased citations

Researchers who publish in open-access journals like Bentham Open are more likely to be cited than those who do not. This increase in visibility can lead to a more significant impact on the research community and more recognition for the author.

Studies show that OA articles receive more citations than those behind paywalls, even controlling for other factors such as the age of the article (newer papers typically get a higher number of citations in the first few months after publication). In addition, many institutions and funders are now providing OA publishing funds or allowing researchers to write these costs into their grants.

Open access also enables researchers to share their work with wider audiences, including policymakers, educators, the media, and practitioners, who can then apply and build upon the research in new ways. This democratization of science allows for more incredible innovation and a faster increase in knowledge.

Increased impact

Research in open-access journals is freely accessible worldwide without barriers, and this broad availability of the latest scientific ideas accelerates scientific progress. The rapid spread of new knowledge also enlivens similar research and inspires collaboration. This can lead to increased recognition for researchers and more compensation for their work.

In addition to fellow scientists, open-access publishing can make your research available to policymakers, non-government agencies, educators, and subject-matter enthusiasts worldwide. These individuals can use your research to help shape policies, educate students, and implement your research. Moreover, they can be potential collaborators in future projects, as their interest in your research is piqued by its global availability. This can also translate into more citations for your article.

Increased collaboration

The ability to quickly and widely disseminate research findings across disciplines inspires interdisciplinary conversation and exploration. Open access can increase collaboration opportunities, primarily if articles are published in prestigious journals.

This is why many researchers, libraries and universities, funding agencies, government bodies, and other organizations are committing to open access policies. This allows them to comply with mandates that require publicly funded research to be made available to the public as soon as possible.

Publishing your research in an open-access journal will allow you to maximize your impact and reach. However, it’s important to remember that OA doesn’t necessarily mean unrestricted sharing. Many OA journals still use permissive licenses, meaning you retain your work’s copyright. This helps you to control how your research can be used and by whom.