Open access: a journey from impossible to probable, but still uncertain



Palabras clave:

Open access, Evolution, Perspective, Future, Obstacles, Models, Economy, Pricing, APCs, Article processing charges, Scientific journals, Hybrid journals, Evaluation of Science, Science communication, Scholarly communication, Open science


An overview of the evolution of open access (OA) to scientific publications over the last 20 years is presented. This retrospective look allows us to make two observations that seem to overlap: on the one hand, how close the initial objective seems to be to what initially seemed utopian and, on the other, the unanticipated and solid obstacles that open access has encountered along the way, as well as the unexpected and diverse solutions that are emerging to overcome them. The overall assessment of OA is positive, and it underscores that open access is (or is becoming) possible, that it is good, and that it is necessary. However, this overall positive evolution has come up against two major obstacles that are slowing its progress: the double payments generated by hybrid journals (subscription and article processing charges [APCs]) and the unchecked growth in APCs. In addition, this intensive use of APCs is creating a publishing gap between publishers that charge fees to authors and those that do not, and ultimately, it is causing dissension regarding the (previously shared) strategy toward open access. There are no immediate, one-off solutions to overcome the aforementioned dysfunctions, although three actions that, in the medium term, can remedy them can be mentioned: changing the approach to the evaluation of science, adopting measures to regulate APCs, and promoting alternative publication models. Finally, it should be noted that OA has acted as the vanguard and spearhead of a broader movement: that of open science.


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Cómo citar

Anglada, L., & Abadal, E. (2023). Open access: a journey from impossible to probable, but still uncertain. Profesional De La información, 32(1).



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