Open Access: Opening a World of Possibilities
The Internet has widened the competition to include everyone as a digital publisher. It has never been this easy to start a website, blog, mobile app, forum and social media page. This has given rise to a vast amount of freely available information that is authored and accessed by people all over the world. STM publishers, who have traditionally operated a subscription-based model, are now gradually adopting the idea of open access (OA).
Readers are drowning a vast ocean of information in their attempt to search for high-quality, valuable and relevant content. As customers get free and easy access to a wealth of information on the Internet, they are hesitant to subscribe to expensive publications. In such a competitive environment, it is essential for scholarly publishers to provide a limited amount of information for free. In fact, it is in the best interest of publishers and authors to adopt OA, as it offers a plethora of benefits.
OA makes it easy for readers to find, download, review, use, cite and re-distribute your work, thus improving its visibility and widening your readership. Moreover, authors receive recognition and feedback much faster in the OA model. The sharing of ideas and information also fosters research and innovation and creates an environment conducive to learning and development.
Several publishers have started offering hybrid publishing models, which is a mix of free and paid articles and journals. This works well for them, as they attract relevant readers with high-quality freely available content. If the readers find the content useful, they will keep visiting your site for more, and could eventually convert into loyal customers. With this model, publishers can make their content more visible, useful and sustainable, which could lead to higher sales and more revenue.