The Journal of Freshwater Ecology, published since 1981, is a peer-reviewed journal for the field of aquatic ecology of freshwater systems that is aimed at an international audience of researchers and professionals. From September 2016, the journal will be a fully open access journal, meaning all articles will, if accepted, be available for anyone to read anywhere, at any time immediately on publication. But what are the implications of this move to open access? Jeffrey A. Simmons, Editor-in-Chief of the journal reflects this Open Access Week.
From Jeffrey A. Simmons, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Freshwater ecology
From September 2016, the Journal of Freshwater Ecology (TJFE) will make the transition to a fully online, open access journal, which means that the research published in TJFE will be available for anyone, anywhere, providing they have an internet connection. TJFE is one of the first existing ecology journals to make this transition which will benefit both ecologists and lay people. This decision was made based on current trends in the marketplace. Funding agencies and governments more and more are requiring that researchers make the results from projects that they fund openly available. At the same time, library budgets for subscriptions are being reduced at a global scale. This makes it harder for paper journals, especially smaller ones, to exist under the subscription model.
For decades, scientific publications were often only available to those who could afford to pay a subscription (or a download fee), or to academics who had access via academic libraries. As a result, primary scientific research only sometimes gets out to the public. Even among scientists, some published research is not freely available to everyone, particularly scientists in developing countries who cannot afford download charges and whose libraries can afford only limited subscriptions (Editor’s note: Taylor & Francis facilitate access to journals for researchers in emerging economies via the publishing industry initiative Research4Life and also via our own STAR program. STAR offers ‘access all areas’ to subscription content for researchers in over 90 countries, for a 31 day period – find out more.)
Open access publishing opens up a new world of opportunity where scientific results are readily accessible to scientists around the world, journalists, policy makers, students, and all curious individuals. It will be interesting to see where this revolution in scientific communication leads.
Celebrating Open Access Week
Another year has passed and we’re continuing our tradition of supporting Open Access Week, with a look at how open access research can be put into action.
How can I get involved?
- Read the ‘From Research to Action’ article collection that showcases OA research that has the potential to engage groups beyond the scholarly community.
- Listen to the public engagement podcast, and share this with researchers publishing in your journal.
- Check out the round-up from our research to action Twitter discussion.