Open Access Journals. Good, Evil, Or Not-As-Dramatic?

Here’s a link to the Prezi I’ve made for this week’s post. (It has sound!)


Beall, Jeffrey, 2012. Predatory publishers are corrupting open access. Nature, 489, (179) doi:10.1038/489179a

Beall, Jeffrey, 2014. Bogus Journal Accepts Profanity-Laced Anti-Spam Paper. Scholarly Open Access at WordPress.

Directory of Open Access Journals, search engine feature, accessed 07/12/2014.

Mazières, David & Kohler, Eddie, 2004. Get Me Off Your F***ing Mailing List. As yet still unpublished.

Prezi, Presentation creation and hosting.

Rice, Curt, 2013. Open access: four ways it could enhance academic freedom. The Guardian.

Suber, Peter, 2013. Open access: six myths to put to rest. The Guardian.


7 thoughts on “Open Access Journals. Good, Evil, Or Not-As-Dramatic?

  1. Hi Andy,

    I thoroughly enjoyed your use of prezi. This could definitely just be me but I found the lack of text made it a bit harder to absorb the content, had to replay some bits a few times. It wasn’t that big of an issue however.

    I also enjoyed how you touched on most of the important points about open access. Do you think in some ways, having both open access and paid access coexist benefit each other? More specifically, do you think authors would benefit from having work in both domains – making open access a sort of ‘taster’?


    • That’s definitely fair enough, thanks for the comment! I think the issue with listening is that I forgot that, unlike a vlog, you couldn’t watch my lips move and therefore it would be harder to track!

      I think that’s a very good point, actually – I’ve mainly been looking at it from the point of view of the publisher, but as a researcher, to have certain bits of your work free to view by the public, possibly on your own website, and then the rest of it tucked behind a paywall that you might get some money from would not be a bad plan at all. If people enjoy your work, making them pay a small amount might not be a bad middle ground.


  2. Really refreshing to see such a creative way to deliver the topic! I must say that the subject itself is indeed broad and the academia aspect was covered pretty well. While most of us are immersed in the argument of “open access”, we are mostly exposed to the benefits of the subject. This brings about a very skewed argument. From your post, it was clear that we should not disregard the drawbacks of “open access”. I would just like to highlight the facts of a real problem of “publication bias” in relation to “open access”. I chanced upon this disturbing information of “publication bias” in the medical field ( Should you have the time, do share your thoughts after watching this video! Personally, I feel that “open access” has yet to solve this issue of “publication bias”. The underlying problem still lie within the control of the industry itself (PMC 2012). Your view on this would be very much appreciated!

    PMC, 2012. Publication bias: What are the challenges and can they be overcome? Available at: [Accessed December 10, 2014].
    TED, 2012. Ben Goldacre: What doctors don’t know about the drugs they prescribe, TED. Available at:


    • Hi, thanks for the comment!

      I don’t think that the issue of publication bias, otherwise known as the ‘file drawer problem’ is one that will be hindered by the introduction of open access. In fact, open access might mean that not-for-profit journals are more likely to publish the null results for the sake of completion and good science.

      I was in a lecture that discussed the problem the other day actually, where the lecturer was talking about how if a full range of statistics were provided, you could actually work out, from the power of the study, how many similar studies were likely to be hidden in file drawers all over the country! It’s a scary phenomenon, and a hard one to deal with.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Andy,

    I learnt alot and also had good laugh while listening to your audio recording. Here’s what I learnt, correct me If i’m wrong:

    You cited authors such as Kurt Rice who argued that under the open-access model, many responsibilities are transferred away from publishers under an open model.

    Among the criticisms of the model you highlighted quality as one of them; the quality of some of those open access journals are not always up to scratch and a good recent example is an article by Jefferey Bale which showed how real the problem is as there are many predatory publishers publishing counterfeit low quality journals.


  4. You also cited India as an example, the journals are there constantly because of a market that needs them – there are hundreds of thousands of scientists and each and everyone of them needs more publications to earn reputation and promotion.

    You further highlighted the weakness of the model when you mentioned that the incentive of quality control is entirely removed as compared to libraries of traditional publications (to me that’s the nail in the coffin for the open-access model)

    The person who loses out most here is the honest scientist – if he also have his papers in those journals he will be tainted by association if not to have a longer wait for his publication especially in a country with high turnover such as India.

    I benefited alot, thanks Andy! Do check out my page!


  5. Pingback: All good things must end. | Andy Sugden

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