Research is becoming increasingly transdisciplinary and collaborative: it’s common for people located at several different institutions to partner on the same study. But varying levels of access to subscription journal literature can make it tough for everyone on the same research team to access the same articles they all need.
Open access removes those barriers so that scholarly literature is free for anyone, anywhere – thus making it easier for researchers to collaborate, wherever they are. Open access can also spark entirely new partnerships: let’s say someone just happens to find your study freely available online, realizes you share the same research interests and gets in touch to talk about working together.
Even when open access may not directly influence a research project, it continues to advance the scholarly conversation. An article that’s open is thus open for commentary – as experienced by Brock Kinesiology professor Bareket Falk, who received a grant from the Library Open Access Publishing Fund to help publish an article in the open access journal Scoliosis.
“Because it was open, it may have attracted more attention. It is difficult to tell,” said Falk. “Nevertheless, a commentary (letter to the editor) was published on the topic and we were invited to comment.”