Contributed by David Barner, Roger Levy, and Jesse Snedeker
Currently, when researchers publish new studies in academic journals, most articles are secured behind a paywall and are accessible only to institutions or individuals who pay sizable subscriptions fees. This is problematic because science is funded by the public and has the potential to benefit the public through the increased availability of empirical facts in politics, K-12 education, business, the operation of NGOs, and in the public sphere at large. This problem has led many to advocate for a shift to Open Access publishing models, where all articles are freely accessible to the public upon publication.
Here we propose an interim solution, called “Instant Open Archiving”, which can be adopted now by Editorial teams at for-profit journals.
Concretely, we propose that for all new submissions, Action Editors require that authors include with their submission a link to an archived preprint of their work on a public archive like PsyArXiv or the Open Science Framework, and that authors update their preprints with changes that arise due to the review process.
This simple move, permitted by almost all publishers, will make all new publications available to the general public, while respecting existing publication agreements, and incurring no new financial costs to authors or to taxpayers.
While we acknowledge that openly accessible pre-prints and post-prints will not satisfy the most enthusiastic proponents of Open Access, we believe that Instant Open Archiving addresses a core problem without placing unreasonable burdens on our colleagues who serve as Editors. We welcome your feedback, and encourage you to share this post, and to voice your support for Instant Open Archiving to the Editors of your own community’s journals, including the Editorial team at Cognition.