Publishing, Open Access journal

Open Access or Traditional Journals? Key factors to consider while making this decision

Posted on : October 19th 2021

Posted by : Straive

Over the years, digitization has become a vital element of every research and publishing aspect, thereby accelerating the overall publishing process.

The digital era has witnessed a rise in the number of individuals trying to get their research published, ranging from educators, clinicians, and vision scientists to healthcare practitioners and even students. Simultaneously, there has been a rise in the number of users who can access this work - basically, anyone with an internet connection and an interest in the research topic.

The days of traditional printed subscription-based journals are long gone. Welcome to the world of open access, where information is freely available for everyone to use.

What is Open Access (OA)?

Open access is a publishing model that makes research material freely available to readers, unlike the traditional subscription model, where readers gain access to scholarly information by paying a subscription fee. One of the most significant benefits of open access is that it enhances the exposure and reuse of academic research findings.

OA Vs. Subscription-based journals

Apart from the business model, there is not much difference between OA and subscription publications. OA journals are subjected to the same peer review, production, and publication requirements as subscription-based journals. OA journals are evaluated for impact factors in the same way that subscription-based journals are. Authors can also submit the final version of their open access papers in any institutional repository as soon as they are published. OA journals, like subscription titles, can be members of COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) and other standards and affiliations.

Benefits of OA

Apart from lower costs, greater accessibility, and better prospects for the long-term preservation of scholarly works, OA also offers many other benefits. These include:

Higher Visibility

According to a research published in the British Medical Journal in 2008, open-access publications received 89% more full-text downloads, 42% more PDF downloads, and 23% more unique visitors. Papers published in OA journals are generally viewed more often and have more downloads than those published traditionally. This increased visibility may result in a rise in the number of citations.


Everyone, regardless of affiliation with a well-funded medical library, may access research published in open access journals. Publishing via open access eliminates cost barriers for readers, making the research available to a broader audience.

Shorter publication time

Once submitted, a manuscript passes through several phases before being accepted by the journal. Studies show that the waiting time for open access publications is less than for traditional journals. While we may not know the precise timing because the article goes through revisions, peer-review, comments, and other processes that are difficult to predict, surveys reveal that, when compared to traditional journals, open access journals take less time between acceptance and publishing.

Arguments against OA

Even with all its potential benefits, OA has not been without its share of criticism. Concerns have been expressed about the scope and quality of peer review, the technology, and costs associated with information capture and presentation, the price regulations, and the overall sustainability of the scholarly communication process.

Is OA the way forward?

The internet’s ever-expanding reach and new digital publishing technologies have created the unprecedented potential to improve scholarly communication. OA aims to take advantage of this new environment by making all academic research papers freely available to those interested.

A lot of time and energy is invested in conducting research and preparing manuscripts. OA can make this important work available to everyone and accelerate the discovery of new information.

The critical thing to keep in mind is to be cautious while selecting a journal to showcase your work. Writers need to check the quality standards of the OA journal under consideration and then trust the process.

Are you are a commercial or OA publisher interested in knowing more about research content services---from manuscript development to customer engagement? We at Straive can help you with our market-leading solutions. Get in touch with us at

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