Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Why academic women should embrace OA

Why Women in Academia Should Embrace Open Access, Co-Action, undated but apparently released in the past couple of days.  Excerpt:

As digital scholarship advances, the individual article is
becoming as important as the journal it is published in.
While studies show that women generally publish fewer
articles than their male counterparts, it is also known
that they tend to receive more citations for the articles
they do publish. An important factor for an article to be
cited is that it is accessible to a large pool of readers....

...Women already receive more citations than
their male counterparts, and – as compared to work
deposited in repositories - articles that are formally
published in Open Access journals have been shown to
receive the greatest number of citations. With the widest
dissemination possible, imagine the impact for women
researchers of publishing in Open Access journals!

Several studies indicate that factors external to the
academic setting make it difficult for some women to
fully participate in international networks necessary to build
an academic career. However, in the context of e-
science, networking is now increasingly taking place in
new ways. Virtual networks and global collaboration
through interactive databases and other free web
resources such as Open Access publication outlets,
provide new and important opportunities for women to

...By publishing in Open Access journals or depositing their
work in Open Access repositories, women scientists
from developed parts of the world can support their
fellow women scientists from poorer countries and truly
engage in the widest possible dialogue within their
research field. In addition, as several studies indicate,
collaboration greatly increases publishing productivity –
a problem that women researchers from all over the
world need to address.

Beyond lab work, grants, and tenure there is now also
focus on who controls the publication process. Scholarly
publishing is dominated by men; most leading journals
have male editors. Role modeling has been identified as
an important element in strengthening the presence of
women in academia....

By publishing in Open Access journals, authors do not
sign away the rights to their work. This means that they
can take ownership of their research results. Moreover,
Open Access materials can be freely downloaded by
others and used in educational and other contexts, again
making women’s work more visible.

Increasingly, various bodies demand that the outcome of
scholarly work should reach beyond academia to the
broader community. Open Access fosters more rapid
dissemination of results from the “ivory tower” to
practitioners, industry, patients, consumers and others.  By taking advantage of Open Access publishing
channels, women scientists have a greater chance of
contributing to developments outside of academia and
generating an impact more quickly in these other

More attention is being drawn to the research of women
scholars beyond the university setting. By publishing in
Open Access journals, women scholars can ensure that
their work is widely accessible not only to fellow
academics but also to industry representatives and
policy makers. This increases the likelihood for more
women to be recruited to industry and public sector