On SAGE Insight: Changing the Default to Support Open Access to Education Research

From Educational Researcher

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The Internet has revolutionized the way we share and access information, yet most scholarly journal literature remains locked behind paywalls for the average reader. Thus, practitioners and policymakers in fields like education are unable to access articles that would otherwise benefit their professional practice. In general, Gold OA refers to the process of publishers making articles freely accessible to readers at the time of publication, often by charging authors. Many North American universities provide their authors with funds to cover article-processing charges (APCs) for publications in Gold or Hybrid OA journals.

Business models based on APCs have been criticized on a number of accounts, including the exclusion of researchers who do not have funding to pay for APCs, the increasing co-optation of OA publishing by legacy publishers using Hybrid OA business models, the long-term financial viability of an academic publishing system based entirely on APCs and the rise of “predatory” OA publishers that charge APCs in return for questionable or nonexistent peer review and rapid time-to-publication. It has been estimated that approximately 20% of the world’s 28,000 active peer-reviewed journals are Gold OA. Green OA, on the other hand, generally refers to the process of authors making their own articles freely accessible by archiving versions of their articles in repositories or on websites.

This essay explores factors underlying the underutilization of Open Access (OA) to make education research literature freely available online, where it can benefit a global audience of researchers, students, teachers, and policymakers. This study uses Bullough and Pinnegar’s (2001) setting-convocation-resolution approach to present stories as points of departure for reflection, conversation, research, and action. Authors of this paper, do so to raise awareness and enhance understanding of the complex and rapidly evolving legal, ethical, and practical issues surrounding public accessibility to scholarship. We also issue a call to action by outlining concrete, stakeholder-specific steps that would help OA become the new default for publication of education research.

Abstract

This essay explores factors underlying the underutilization of Open Access (OA) to make education research literature freely available online, where it can benefit a global audience of researchers, students, teachers, and policymakers. Situating this autobiographical self-study in the context of the broader global and scholarly context, we use Bullough and Pinnegar’s (2001) setting-convocation-resolution approach to present our stories as points of departure for reflection, conversation, research, and action. We do so to raise awareness and enhance understanding of the complex and rapidly evolving legal, ethical, and practical issues surrounding public accessibility to scholarship. We also issue a call to action by outlining concrete, stakeholder-specific steps that would help OA become the new default for publication of education research.

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Article details

Changing the Default to Support Open Access to Education Research
Alysia D. Roehrig, Devin Soper, Bradley E. Cox, Gloria P. Colvin – Florida State University, Tallahassee,
First 10Published June 18, 2018 Review Article
DOI: 10.3102/0013189X18782974
Educational Researcher

     
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