Open Access Week

October 24 - 30, 2022 | Everywhere

Open Access Bypasses Publisher's Rights and Not Copyright

Open in order to "bypass the publisher's rights"

What is Publisher's Rights and how this impacts the readers from reaching your research publication?

Publisher's right is the right adorned by the author, who is the owner of the Intellectual Property of the Content, to the publisher for transferring, publishing and distributing the research to the research and academic communities. To achieve this purpose, the publisher imposes restrictions on the reach to the audience or the readers by levying a charge to the reader for accessing the research article. This will cover the cost of production, distribution and marketing the article with the fee to the author for publishing this article. So the reader pays to the publisher and not the author for accessing the content. In return the publisher pays the author, a copyright fee as share of profit or royalty once the cost of production is achieved.

Where to find Open Access Publications? 

Open Access Publications are those research publications which are a privilege offered to the readers for free accessibility to the online version. So Open Access opens door online to readers.

How Open Access overrides Publisher's Rights?

Open Access articles are available to the readers for no fee while accessing the content online. Readers can read and reuse the content of the article with proper acknowledgement to the author of the content at no cost to the publisher if they access the content online. However, there are two types of Open Access articles:

1. Gold AccessGold Access are those Open Access articles that are distributed throughout the world wide web at no cost to the publisher through all portals of online accessibility. However, the reader cannot re-distribute the content. Thus, the publisher still retains the right to the content provided by the author to distribute. The reader, on the other hand, can re-use the content without violating the thumb rules of plagiarism. 

2. Green Access: Green Access are those Open Access publications that are deposited in Open Access Article Repositories. These repositories are governed by the funder or the publisher themselves, who restrict the accessibility to the reader for a period of time (called the embargo period) with a small fee to cover the cost of the funding for production. The embargo period is a much lesser period than the time frame of the publisher's right (after which the publisher makes publications freely accessible as Archives).  

Why Author's agree to publish paying a fee?

Authors are allowed to publish their work at free of cost to the readers by paying the publisher the cost of production. These publications will not return the publisher usually a profit. However, the privilege is only offered to the online version. What's the idea and need for the author? The author is also going to lose the "digital profit" by making the online versions of their publication Open Access. The advantage for the author is that they gain on increased readership metrices, citation indices and research impact ratios. This in turn fetches, especially for early career researchers - more opportunities, global recognition and enables technology transfer besides enhanced research and scientific discussions. Further to this, enhanced researchers reflects on the research capacity of the funding institutions and the research organisations who employ them increasing their research economic profits. These are the various reasons that encourages authors to pay for Open Access.

When the Publisher provides Open Access?

For the publisher who decides to fund on a publication and provide Open Access accessibility is a business decision. The decision may be made on the marketability of the publication topic and/or the author, author's discretion and the research value in the publishing market. Many a time publishers invite and pay authors to publish their content with Open Access as part of their marketing strategy and to increase the scope of business.

Thus, Open Access is a privilege that the publisher is providing to the customer and the author to the reader. They pay for the reader to use their services and Intellectual Property, respectively. Hence, this is never a possibility by any publisher to publish every single publication as Open Access from the economic perspective of the publishing industry. There lies a heap of other perspectives to foresee before making the "Open Access" decision: ethical and social perspectives, wherein the author will prefer to deliver a vital scientific finding or discovery which is an immediate need in the society as "Open Access"; and competitive perspective, where the author who is the Intellectual Property Owner will only be able to provide Open Accessibility only when the author is assured and confident of one's survival in the long run in the research and/or academic market.

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