Authors and researchers

The main reason authors make their articles openly accessible is to maximize their research impact.[27] A study in 2001 first reported an OA citation impact advantage,[28] and a growing number of studies[29] have confirmed, with varying degrees of methodological rigor, that an OA article is more likely to be used and cited than one behind subscription barriers.[29] For example, a 2006 study in PLoS Biology found that articles published as immediate open access in PNAS were three times more likely to be cited than non-open access papers, and were also cited more than PNAS articles that were only self-archived.[30] This result has been challenged as an artifact of authors self-selectively paying to publish their higher quality articles in hybrid OA journals,[31] whereas a 2010 study found that the OA citation advantage was equally big whether self-archiving was self-selected or mandated.[32] Scholars are paid by research funders and/or their universities to do research; the published article is the report of the work they have done, rather than an item for commercial gain. The more the article is used, cited, applied and built upon, the better for research as well as for the researcher's career.[33][34] Similarly, the more quickly it is accessible, the better;[33] open access can reduce publication delays, an obstacle which led many research fields to traditions of widespread preprint access.[35] Some professional organizations have encouraged use of OA: In 2001, the International Mathematical Union communicated to its members that "Open access to the mathematical literature is an important goal" and encouraged them to "[make] available electronically as much of o r own work as feasible" to "[enlarge] the reservoir of freely available primary mathematical material, particularly helping scientists working without adequate library access."[36] Authors who wish to make their work openly accessible have two options. One option is to publish in an OA journal ("Gold OA"). An open access journal may or may not charge a processing fee; open access publishing does not necessarily mean that the author has to pay. Traditionally, many academic journals levied page charges, long before open access became a possibility. When OA journals do charge processing fees, it is the author's employer or research funder who typically pays the fee, not the individual author, and many journals will waive the fee in cases of financial hardship, or for authors in less-developed countries. The other option is author self-archiving ("Green OA"). To find out if a publisher or journal has given a green light to author self-archiving, the author can check the Publisher Copyright Policies and Self-Archiving list[37] on the SHERPA RoMEO web site. To find out by journal, the author can check the EPrints Romeo site,[38] which is derived from the SHERPA/RoMEO dataset. The EPrints site itself also provides a FAQ [39] on self-archiving. Extensive details and links can also be found in the Open Access Archivangelism blog[40] and the Eprints Open Access site.[41] While open access is currently focused on scholarly research articles, any content creators can now decide how to make their content available and, if they wish, they can share their work openly. Creative Commons provides a number of licenses with which authors may easily indicate which uses are allowed.