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Open Access


The Open Access movement has grown exponentially ever since its inception just a few years ago. Its ever-expanding presence in the academic world exhibits enormous diversity. Much information on the scope of the movement is available online. The design of the present page is 1) to provide an introduction to Open Access (OA) as a movement, 2) to list the many advantages of publishing through Open Access, and 3) to suggest further readings pertaining to the movement.

Scientific Research Publishing Inc. (SCIRP) has played a prominent role in the Open Access movement starting from as early as 2007. SCIRP aims to operate at the very forefront of this movement while abiding by its highest possible standards. To that end, SCIRP fully endorses all the officially stated goals of the movement, which are detailed below. In consequence, SCIRP has been delivering, and is delivering, many high quality Open Access journals ("Gold OA") involving relatively low publication fees, that is, in effect Article Processing Charges (APC).

Origins of Open Access

The term Open Access (OA) was introduced

    1.  by the Budapest Open Access Initiative (February 2002),
    2.  by the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (June 2003),
    3.  by the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (October 2003).

Their common ground is referred to as the "BBB Definition" in [1]. The BBB Definition is identical to the definition of the Budapest Open Access Initiative (see below).

Budapest Open Access Initiative

Open Access to peer-reviewed research literature means:
"...its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited." [2]

The reuse rights from this declaration can be described with the Creative Commons license "Attribution" (CC BY)  .

"We [BOAI] reaffirm the two primary strategies put forward in the BOAI:

    •  OA through repositories (also called 'green OA') and
    •  OA through journals (also called 'gold OA')." [2]

SCIRP has signed the declaration of the Budapest Open Access Initiative.

Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities

The declaration includes the paragraph “Supporting the Transition to the Electronic Open Access Paradigm”. The signatories intend to ...

  • encourage researchers/grant recipients to publish their work according to the principles
    of the open access paradigm.
  • maintain the standards of quality assurance and good scientific practice.
  • advocate that open access publication be recognized in promotion and tenure evaluation.[3]

"Concerns that Open Access contravenes the rules of good scientific practice are unfounded, given that the same rules apply here as apply to conventional publications (ban on plagiarism, improper adaptation, etc.)." [4]

SCIRP is working with well established academics on its Editorial Boards. SCIRP follows DOAJ's criteria on Transparent Editorial Boards. SCIRP follows the Code of Conduct of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

"Many supporters of Open Access hope it will not only improve accessibility but also serve to keep costs down." [4]

The location of its offices in China allows SCIRP to keep Article Processing Charges low by international standards.

The open- platform provides comprehensive information on OA and offers practical implementation advice. The platform states the following:

"The so-called serials crisis has acted as a catalyst for the development of the OA movement and its spread beyond the scientific sector. From the mid-nineties onwards, journal prices spiraled, especially in the natural sciences. University libraries were forced to cancel subscriptions which considerably reduced access to relevant scientific and scholarly knowledge and information." [5]

"Many research funders have published an Open Access policy, in which they adopt a clear stance on OA. This policy ... clarifies the concrete funding measures and the areas of focus that arise from the organisation's stance on OA and details the conditions under which funding is forthcoming." [6]

"In addition, more and more universities are committing themselves to OA and enabling toll-free archiving in their repositories and free access to scientific and scholarly documents. An overview of institutions' self-archiving policies can be found in the Registry of Open Access Repository Material Archiving Policies (ROARMAP)." [7]

Arguments in favor of Open Access [8]:

    • "Increased visibility and higher citation rates"
    • "Fast, toll-free access to information"
    • "Good findability via search engines and reference services"
    • "All the benefits of digital documents"
    • "Improved information supply and a way out of the serials crisis"
    • "Promotes international and inter-disciplinary cooperation"
    • "Greater research efficiency through early discussion of findings"
    • "Authors retain exploitation rights"
    • "Open access to publicly-funded research results"
    • "Long-term document availability"

Selected Organizations, Projects and Activities in Open Access

Most of the examples follow the list in [9]. (If the description of the project is from this source it is put in quotation marks.)

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
"DOAJ is a directory of Open Access journals covering free, full-text, quality-controlled scientific and scholarly journals."
126 SCIRP journals are listed on DOAJ (2013-11-08)!

Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA)
"The goal of OASPA is to represent and promote the interests of Open Access publishers in all scientific, scholarly and technical disciplines by encouraging communication between them, by setting quality standards, and by advancing the development of business and publishing models.
SCIRP is being set up to fulfill OASPA requirements.

Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)
"SPARC is an alliance of academies, university libraries and research organizations which promotes and develops low-cost alternatives to traditional publishing strategies."

SPARC Europe
SPARC Europe is a membership organization for European research libraries and research organizations. Its mission is to create change and build a better scholarly communication system for the future.

"ResearchGATE is an online social network for scholars and scientists. In addition to generating a profile page, it offers users the opportunity to communicate with fellow researchers, to manage their references and to search in various databases. The platform has been online since May 2008 and by its own account it already has 140 000 members ... [who] make a full-text version of the[ir] publication[s] available in Open Access."

Open Access Library (OALib)
The Open Access Library is a Search Engine, based on a database with metadata of Open Access papers. It contains OALib Journal, a scholarly, peer-reviewed, open access journal covering all subject areas in STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) as well as Social Sciences. Furthermore, it contains a repository with own OALib PrePrints as well as external preprints and postprints, all stored in one of the 322 OALib Disciplinary Repositories.

Further Reading

Recommended for further reading is [1]:

SUBER, Peter: Open Access. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2013.

"The Internet lets us share perfect copies of our work with a worldwide audience at virtually no cost. We take advantage of this revolutionary opportunity when we make our work "open access": digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. Open access is made possible by the Internet and copyright-holder consent ... for 350 years, scholars have written peer-reviewed journal articles for impact, not for money, and are free to consent to open access without losing revenue." [1]

Follow this link for best online viewing of the book.


[1] SUBER, Peter: Open Access. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2013. Available from:

[2] OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE: Budapest Open Access Initiative: Ten years on from the Budapest Open Access Initiative. Budapest, Hungary, 2012-09-12. Available from:

[3] MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT: Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. München, Germany, 2003. Available from:

[4] MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT: MPG Open Access Policy. München, Germany, 2003. Available from:

[5] OPEN-ACCESS.NET: History of the Open Access Movement: The Serials Crisis. Available from:

[6] OPEN-ACCESS.NET: Policy Measures to Support Open Access. Available from:

[7] OPEN-ACCESS.NET: Initiatives and Policy Documents. Available from:

[8] OPEN-ACCESS.NET: Arguments in favour of Open Access. Available from:
arguments_in_favour_of_open_ access.

[9] OPEN-ACCESS.NET: Open Access Projects. Available from: