The option of open access online-publication in scientific journals represents a new challenge for research and science policy. Currently, open-access publication is often paid, especially in journals with high impact factor – with non-negligible costs of publication fees. Very many journals offer to choose, whether an article accepted for publication is published free of charge in paper or as an online open access publication for fee.
The advantage of an open access publication is obvious: freely accessible articles in the internet are perceived more frequently and spread and therefore more frequently quoted and sustainably received in turn the impact and therefore the scientific reputation of authors or their institution reflected – studies and meta-studies show up a citation frequency increased by up to 600 percent at open access publications compared to closed access publications (Swan, A. (2010). The open access citation advantage: studies and results to date. Swan, A. & Houghton, J.W. (2012). Going for the gold? The costs and benefits of gold open access for UK research institutions: further economic modelling. Joint information systems Committee (JISC).
The costs for open access online-publications obviously have a significant restrictive impact on the freedom of science, since the reception of research results is bound on budgetary means of the researchers or their institution. This points the way towards an exclusivity, defined from the financial resources that can be provided by the research institutions for open access publications. Thus, reception of research results is on the long endangered to add a facette of purchase of impact factors instead of reward for scientific expertise. Therefore, the initiatives targeting on countering the limitations given by the publication fees increase – on behalf of the accessibility of scientific information. It is mirrored in a joint statement of EU Commissioner moedas and the Dutch Government as well as a signature initiative “moving forward on open access” of the League of European research universities (LERU).
OANA (open access network Austria) is an initiative in Austria, initiated by UNIKO and FWF – see www.oana.at. In winter term 2015/16, the Rectorate of SFU decided to join OANA (membership is free). Dr. Michael Reichmayr as head of the SFU library has taken on the task of the contact person for the OANA: http://www.oana.at/mitglieder-ansprechpersonen/privatuniversitaeten/.
A working group of the OANA has elaborated recommendations for converting the entire scientific publication activity in Austria to open access by 2025: http://dx.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.33178