May 24, 2010

The Journal Nature Continues Open Access Efforts

by Heather Falconer

Last week, the journal Nature announced that seven more of their Publishing Group journals will give authors an open access option — taking the total number of NPG journals with open access up to 25. By paying an author processing charge, authors can choose to make the article freely available to the public.

There has been a lot of discussion and debate in recent years about open access to scientific and scholarly material. On the ‘pro’ side, we have the argument that the results of any research funded with public tax dollars should be made freely accessible to anyone — scientist or otherwise. Why should anyone who pays tax dollars need to then pay the thousands of dollars it might cost to purchase a subscription to leading journals? On the ‘anti’ side, we have the claim that making this material free and open to the public will take away necessary operating funds of many of these journals. Plus, there has been little discussion on the repercussions of what making this knowledge available to everyone might mean.

As educators and researchers, though, we know how important it is to have access to the most up-to-date information on what it happening in our fields. We can’t “stand on the shoulders of giants” if we only have access to their knees. So, today, in addition to highlighting Nature‘s contribution, we’d like to show folks where they can find information on what journals currently offer open access options.

The Directory of Open Access Journals provides free, full text, quality controlled scholarly and scientific journals and should be your first stop. Then, check out some of these:

Have other open access resources that you think are great? Let us know by commenting here, or on our Facebook page. For more on the open access discussion, read this article in Science.

Image from, courtesy of graur razvan ionut
Heather Falconer

Written by

Heather Falconer holds undergraduate degrees in Graphic Arts and Environmental Science, as well as an MFA in Writing and an MLitt in Literature. She is currently completing her PhD in Rhetoric and Composition, with an emphasis on rhetoric in/and/of science. Heather has worked internationally in academic publishing as both an author and editor, and has taught a wide range of topics – from research writing to marine biology – in the public and private educational sectors.