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:
- Public Library of Science
- Notre Dame University
- Open-J Gate
- Directory of Open Access Scholarly Journals in Education
- Peer Reviewed Medical Journals
- Open Ethics Journal
Image from freedigitalphotos.net, courtesy of graur razvan ionut