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Open Access (OA) is a set of principles and a range of practices through which scholarly research outputs are freely distributed online and made available for anyone to access, read, download, and reuse without financial, legal, or technical barriers. This applies to all fields of study, particularly Science, Technology, and Medicine (STM) publishing.

Life Before Open Access

Before the advent of OA, accessing research was primarily done through subscription-based models or individual access fees. Libraries and research institutions would pay for Access to academic journals and databases, often at a high cost. Individual researchers could access research by paying for Access to specific articles or journals or by using inter-library loan services to obtain physical copies of articles from other libraries.

This subscription-based model created barriers for those who did not have access to the necessary funds or institutional affiliations, which included researchers in developing countries or those working outside of traditional academic settings.

The availability of research was an additional barrier. Some research was not widely available due to language barriers or because it was published in obscure or difficult-to-access journals. This limited the dissemination and impact of research findings.

Thankfully, the popularity of Open Access has been steadily growing since the late 1990s-early 2000s. As of April 2023, 19,172 Open Access journals are listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals.

Some points of contention with OA are worth noting, including concerns around its long-term sustainability, quality control issues and a suitable business model.

But, the benefits outweigh any potential downsides for researchers, institutions, publishers and humanity.

Benefits of Open Access

Increased visibility and impact

OA research is freely available online, meaning it can be read, downloaded, and shared by anyone with an internet connection. This can increase the visibility and impact of research by making it easier to find, read, and cite.

Improved speed and efficiency of research

OA can accelerate scientific progress by enabling more people to access and build upon existing research. It can also reduce duplication of effort and help researchers to collaborate more effectively.

Enhanced collaboration

OA can promote collaboration among researchers and institutions by making accessing and using each other’s research easier. This can lead to new partnerships, projects, and discoveries.

Greater innovation

OA can facilitate using the latest findings and technologies, leading to more innovative research and development.

Fulfilment of funders’ requirements

Many funding agencies require that research they support be made openly available immediately or after a specified embargo period. OA can help researchers and institutions to meet these requirements and ensure compliance.

Cost savings

OA can reduce the costs of accessing and publishing research, benefiting institutions and individuals.

Equity and inclusivity

OA can increase Access to research for researchers and readers in developing countries, low-income communities, and under-resourced institutions. It can also support diversity and inclusion in research by making it more accessible to marginalised groups.

Open Access has many benefits for the research community and society. It can promote the free flow of information, accelerate scientific progress, and increase the impact and accessibility of research. Researchers, publishers and institutions must continue to work together to address concerns and find effective ways to support Open Access publishing.

Want to publish your STM journal with a publisher that cares about Open Access?Contact us today to get started.

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Umesh Nair

International Executive with focus on Global Growth -20 years working experience in Germany, Singapore, India,Asia, Middle East, Switzerland, Europe across a cultural multi-functional environment.

Specialties: Business Strategy & International partnerships, Global Alliances network in Startup, Technology,Airlines, Aviation, Travel, online travel, E-commerce Business, Luxury Retail, BPO, b2b, ERP Software BusinessDevelopment – Sales, Go to Market, Growth Specialist, Incubation, Entrepreneur in Residence, Senior ClientPartner, Consulting, Market Research – Coleman Research, Lynk Global, Guidepoint, Insight Alpha, GersonLehrman Group.

Mr. Manoj Mehta

Mr. Manoj Mehta, is a Science Graduate and a Fellow Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), practicing as a Chartered Accountant since 1984. He had the great opportunity to complete his article training with M/s. S.V.Ghatalia & Co. (now part of E&Y, one of the big four Consulting Firms in India).

He has got vast experience of 40 years in the profession. His core strength is in the field of Finance, as a Corporate Advisor to public, private and multinational companies in the field of financial planning, raising debt and equity, structuring,  etc. His forte is strategic business and financial planning, compliances, deployment of funds, optimum utilization, budgeting, Preparation and analyzing of qualitative Project feasibility reports, anything and everything related to advising on financial decision making.

He holds trusteeship of a few charitable trust to show his philanthropy side.

He has held leadership roles and has been in the forefront in articulating values and beliefs in a team building approach.

Paul Evans

Dr Paul Evans has a long career in publishing in STM and business sectors since graduating from Oxford University and first working as a computer programmer. He worked for Reed Elsevier in a variety of roles for nearly 25 years (in UK, Netherlands and China) up to, in later years, Senior Vice President at the global headquarters in Amsterdam. He then became Managing Director for SAGE Publishing’s Asia Pacific company at its hub in Singapore for 7 years, doubling its size and performance. Latterly he was for three years Director of Nature Research China with Springer Nature in Shanghai and an adviser to the Chinese government for his industry, and then on return to the UK during Covid he has worked for Maverick Publishing Specialists as a consultant and Charlesworth Publishing Services as Director of Partnerships.

He has also taken a strong interest in education initially as a teacher in Japan, as a lecturer and course leader in Publishing Studies at a Scottish university, and now in working in UK education areas.

Bharath Ramadoss

Head of Production and Operations, has been with Siliconchips since 2015. In his time with us, he has managed a team of dedicated and experienced production team members, both in books, journals development.

A graduate of University of Madras, Bharath has a strong experience in quality, complex workflows in the publishing industry. His skill set includes e-publishing, project and team management, XML and HTML, content development, workflow improvement, and now working closely with technology team and developing various tools and platforms.

He enjoys cricket, and you will find him playing every Saturday.

Becca Mosher

Becca Mosher, US Editorial Project Manager, helped to develop the Siliconchips editorial department in 2015, and her team continues to grow. A graduate of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Missouri – Columbia, Becca has been in the publishing industry since 2007, where she has specialized in e-book project management, editorial management, and editing in a wide variety of styles at all levels, from proofreading to developmental editing. She is proficient in several languages and adept at client relations.

An avid board gamer, Becca teaches different games at a “Learn to Play” night once a week.

Abhijit Pathre

Abhijit Pathre, our Director of Account Management, manages data, accounts, delivery and operations, and maintains client relationships. He is highly experienced in the technology field and possesses excellent communication and problem-resolution skills; prior to joining Siliconchips Services, he was with Hutchison Global Services, working in 3G, and Goldshield Business Solutions, a UK-based Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm.

He leads with a humbleness that compels the team to follow his direction. His firm commitment and his vast fifteen-year experience spanning various industries contribute to his essential role as a member of the Siliconchips Services team in India.

Shahid Chowdhary

Shahid Chowdhary began Siliconchips Services in London in September 2010, with one basic idea: to build an organisation committed to value-based leadership and promoting a culture of trust, transparency, integrity and mutual respect.

Shahid received his graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from NIT Srinagar and his post-graduate in Marketing and Finance from NMIMS, Mumbai – both leading engineering and business schools in India and he was certified by Baan in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). He has acquired numerous professional qualifications in innovation, strategy and leadership development throughout his career, including Leadership Management Institute (LMI) in the US and Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) in London. Over the years he has worked with various multinational companies in India, the US and the UK, including engineering, software development and publishing companies.

Shahid is the driving force behind Siliconchips Services; he focuses on new markets, business development, human resources development and planning for the continued growth of the company. He unites his teams across borders, and encourages a cohesive working community to give our clients a professional and pleasant experience with Siliconchips Services.

Over the weekends, Shahid spends time with his two daughters, practicing martial arts, and volunteering at the stables for his love of horses.