Custom «Open Access Articles» Essay Paper Sample

Open Access Articles

Open access portals provide space for publishing journals and scholarly articles where users are granted continuous access to online journals without being charged any access fees and without facing copyright barriers (Pattanayak & Sagar, 2010). In open access portals, the author or other sponsoring institution bears the cost of publication and distribution of articles to worldwide users. This does not mean that freely accessible journals are not subjected to the reviewing process to make them peer reviewed articles. For them the process is much similar to the traditional process of review, although it is faster. The concept of open access is very recent in academic publishing and has generated immense debate due to the concerns related to open access. Concerns about the issue revolve around free accessibility and enhanced visibility of online articles versus the quality of information they present to the world. This essay analyses the scope of operations in preserving and delivering literature. The essay also evaluates the problems that might be caused by open access concept for publication of education materials.

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Open access poses no definite limit on the number of articles produced unlike it is with the printed articles (Pattanayak & Sagar, 2010). Although open access articles are free to be used by users, the author or sponsors are subjected to steep publication and distribution charges. These charges are subsidized in some countries like the US, whereas they appear to be huge for third world developing countries. The free online open access portals may fuel the need for research in some critical areas of education and social trends.

Open access archives and repositories do not perform peer review. These archives belong to institutions such as universities or disciplines such as physics. They comply with the metadata harvesting protocol of the open archives initiative. This makes them interoperable thus allowing the users to gather information without knowing where it comes from. The archives also use open source software for building and maintaining OAI-compliant archives. The costs of an archive includes server space and time of the technician which is negligible (Suber, 2003).

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On the other hand, journals bear the responsibility of peer reviewing the articles and making them available to the world at no cost. The expenses of the journal as a vehicle for online open access portals include reviewing costs. Others costs include manuscript preparation and server space. However, most of the reviewers donate their services to these journals, therefore reducing reviewing costs, tracking costs and costs related to collection of data (Suber, 2003).

Online journals have a wide range of requirements to be fulfilled by an article if it is to be admitted to a journal. Such requirements include originality, novelty, importance, significance, and relevance (P.A., 2007). These requirements are set in the majority of open access journal publishing portals. The journals, at least most of them, do not require the inclusion of some fundamentals of good research work, such as discussion of limitations and obstacles encountered during research or data collection. This presents a huge problem to the quality of work being produced and distributed by the journals. Although the articles acquire peer revisions, their quality is still in question if an omission of such important aspect of research is ignored.

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According to a research done about the quality of studies published by most top rated journal portals, there is an imbalance between the emphasis on significance of the studies as opposed to their limitations. The journals are under pressure to highlight the importance of the research while downplaying the limitations or weaknesses of the researches. To some extent, some journals foster exaggeration of the results in an attempt to promote the significance of the study (P.A., 2007). This causes only a part of the problems that may be encountered by the end-user of this research. Open access does not imply that the user should accept results without questioning them. It also does not mean that the public is not entitled to essential information about limitations of the research. This information helps him/her in making decision on how to apply the results of the research.

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Due to accessibility of information, researchers feel the pressure to show that their work is robust and free of limitations with the aim to increase accessibility and usage by the public. Mostly, there are no directions given to the researcher by the journal administrators on how to conduct a research. They simply state, for instance, that the research should merit urgent publication (P.A., 2007). Online portals pose the danger of adopting flawed research findings if research is extrapolated and applied, based on a lack of limitations or other important sections of a research article. Researchers are also under pressure of journals to come up with unique finding, which makes them forego important steps of the research. This seems to be widely acceptable to peer-reviewers. The doctrine of research demands that the findings should expose both positive and negative side of the research. This is not usually the case in the open access portals. This makes research findings subjective and biased to one side of the discussion.

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Online user is not protected from unreliable information of open portals advertisers. The journals tend to sell their space to advertisers who post anything there. Mostly, advertisers are very informed on how to maximize their sales in target markets, while users are not aware of the benefits of the portals or search engines or sites that offer open access to articles. This makes the process of searching for the right content rigorous to the public (Gaar, 2011). Most users lack the knowledge on how to use materials that are available online because they are presented on different platforms and come in unique collection features unlike print versions (Dekker, 2009). This reduces the importance of availability of articles to their end users.

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