On “In Defense of Open Access: Or, Why I Stopped Worrying and Started an OA Journal,” by Megan Lowe

On “In Defense of Open Access: Or, Why I Stopped Worrying and Started an OA Journal,” by Megan Lowe

In the article “In Defense of Open Access: Or, Why I Stopped Worrying and Started an OA Journal,” Megan Lowe describes Codex, an open access (OA) journal that she edits. Lowe frames the Codex summary within a larger framework of the critique of OA publishing as not being rigorous enough (especially in a 2013 study done by John Bohannon where he criticizes peer review in OA publications). By contrast, Lowe argues that peer review issues are not endemic only to OA journals; there have been examples of both OA and toll-access journals that do not employ rigorous enough peer review. OA and toll access journals are not in opposition, Lowe suggests. Rather, both models exist on a scholarly communication continuum, only in different roles.

Lowe does imply, however, that OA publishing can be more ethical than toll access publishing. She does not insist on this following the standard arguments for OA as providing more access to knowledge for more people, or of offering publicly-funded research to the public; instead, Lowe argues that OA journals can be more ethical because they are not profit-driven. This is where her summary of Codex comes in. Because Codex is an OA journal run on volunteer labour, it does not enter into pay-to-play scenarios, shortchange author support and guidance in the name of cost efficiency, or pander to advertisers or investors. This allows Codex to be a more supportive publishing option for librarians seeking to publish their work. Overall, Lowe raises questions regarding the current scholarly communication model and the alternative opportunities that OA brings to the table.

 

Work cited

Bohannon, John. 2013. “Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?” Science 342 (6154): 60-65. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6154/60.full

Lowe, Megan. 2014. “In Defense of Open Access: Or, Why I Stopped Worrying and Started an OA Journal.” Codex 2 (4): 11pp. http://journal.acrlla.org/index.php/codex/article/view/86

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