Open Access Publishing: A Service or a Detriment to Science?

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The unintended negative consequences of the drive towards open access publishing are becoming increasingly apparent. This paper examines the nature of access publishing from the perspectives of authors and readers, considering issues of payment and ownership, and the question of open access for data. It discusses the origins of open access, its costs and the extent to which delivers on its aims, and reviews its advantages and disadvantages, including economic restrictions on access to publishing, the rise in predatory journals and degradation of quality control, and the consequent potential of open access to damage the standing of science in society. There is a need for greater rigour in choice of publication outlets, the promotion of benign open access options (e.g. avoidance of predatory journals), and to ensure that funding bodies and policymakers are aware of publishing. Given the recognised importance of “crafting the message”, i.e. communicating scientific results to each category of end-users in the most appropriate way, it should also be asked why the “one size fits all” solution of publishing results in open access journal papers (the format of which is still off-putting to the casual reader) is considered necessary.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Aberdeen: Business School
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

Publication series

NameDiscussion Paper in Economics
PublisherUniversity of Aberdeen
ISSN (Electronic)0143-4543


  • open access
  • perception
  • reputation
  • costs


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