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EDITORIAL
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 39  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 55-56

E-Journals and open access


Department of Urology, KLES Kidney Foundation, KLE University's JN Medical College, Belgaum - 590 010, India

Date of Web Publication1-Oct-2012

Correspondence Address:
Rajendra B Nerli
Department of Urology, KLES Kidney Foundation, KLE University's JN Medical College, Belgaum - 590 010
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-5009.101841

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How to cite this article:
Nerli RB. E-Journals and open access. J Sci Soc 2012;39:55-6

How to cite this URL:
Nerli RB. E-Journals and open access. J Sci Soc [serial online] 2012 [cited 2019 Jul 20];39:55-6. Available from: http://www.jscisociety.com/text.asp?2012/39/2/55/101841

Information has been the basis for knowledge and rightly, so, mankind has always been interested in information - generating information, using it and also presenting it. In the emerging knowledgeable society, the availability and the use of information contributes towards development of individuals and the nation. The value of information cannot be undermined in research and, progress in the same cannot be achieved without the support of information. The dawn of information revolution has been considered as one of the marvels of the 21st century. The new technology has not only created and developed modern libraries but also transformed many existing libraries on modern lines. This century has been witnessing revolutionary impact on the publishing and information delivery systems due to the emergence of internet, particularly the www as a new medium of information storage and delivery. Similarly a significant change has been noticed in the publication of journals and other important information resources in the electronic version.

Most of the journals in the electronic form, launched in the mid 1990's have already started creating an impact on the appearance of citations. Most of the journals published in the industrialized world have an electronic version too. Whether this will lead to the demise of the print version is to be seen. Definitely the environmental groups as well as the need to promote a green world will gradually force the exit of the print versions. The general population has increasingly become aware of the usefulness and the vast capabilities of the electronic technology for education, research and recreation. Users today have been demanding broader range of information services which are tailored to their needs and also quality in services provided.

E-Journals have several advantages over their print versions. One can access them round the clock, across geographical barriers and reach the subscribers much before their print counterparts and that too simultaneously. E-journals can be accessed by more than one person at any given time depending on access rights and permission. Electronic versions offset the missing issue problem. The low cost of setting up new electronic journals has enabled both scholars and publishers to experiment with new business models, where anybody with internet access can read the articles ('open access' or OA) [1] and the required resources to operate journals are collected by other means than charging readers . Majority of publishers today allow some form of archiving in their copyright agreements with authors, sometimes requiring an embargo period. Even major research funders such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Wellcome Trust have started requiring OA publishing from their grantees either in open access journals (gold OA) or repositories (green OA). A recent study has shown that 20.4% of articles published in 2008 were freely available on the web, either directly in journals (8.5%) or in the form of archived copies in some type of repository (11.9%). [2]

The issue of open access, free and unrestricted online access to scientific publications, has stirred debate among scientists, policymakers and editors in recent years. [3] There has been an ongoing debate as to whether the proliferation of open access publishing would damage the peer review system and put the quality of science journal publishing at risk. Bjork and Solomon [1] used the 2 year impact factors (the average number of citations to the articles in a journal) as a proxy for scientific impact and found that their results indicated that OA journals indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus were approaching the same scientific impact and quality as subscription journals, particularly in biomedicine and for journals funded by article processing charges. Recent experiments have suggested that OA may have no effect on journal citations or even a negative impact. [3] OA has an huge influence on research attention and its greatest impact has been participation of the developing economies in global science. Evans and Reimer [3] tested the influence of OA on dissemination of science to poor countries and reported that OA had the greatest effect in the developing Southern hemisphere rather than the wealthy Northern and Western. The influence of OA was more than twice as strong in the developing world but was less apparent in the poorest countries where electronic access is limited. Though the influence of OA has been modest 8% for recently published research, but it still provides clear support for its ability to widen the global circle of those who can participate in science and benefit from it.

 
  References Top

1.Bjork BC, Solomon D. Open access versus subscription journals: A comparison of scientific impact. BMC Med 2012;10:73.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Bjork BC, Welling P, Laakso M, Majlender P, Hedlund T, Guonason G. Open access to the scientific journal literature: Situation 2009. PLoS ONE 2010;5:e11273.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Evans JA, Reimer J. Open access and global participation in science. Science 2009;323:1025.  Back to cited text no. 3
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