Open access week 2016: discovering and accessing content

This year’s theme for International Open Access Week 2016 is ‘Open in action’. At the BES Journals we actively take steps to encourage accessibility and discoverability of research, but there are many barriers to making your published manuscript open access. So what else can you do, if you cannot make your manuscript Online Open? In this blog post I will discuss how research can be made more accessible and discoverable, as well as clarifying some open access definitions.

What is the difference between open access and free content?

In simple terms, open access content is accessible and available online free of charge AND (depending on the level of the creative commons license of the work) it can be distributed, reused and reproduced provided the authors are attributed.

Free content is accessible and available online free of charge on the publisher’s website BUT cannot be distributed, reused or reproduced elsewhere without first gaining permission from the publisher.

Other definitions of open access terminology that are useful to know include:
Gold: open access in an open access journal
Green: open access where an author can self-archive their article in a repository
Hybrid journal: a subscription journal in which some of the articles are open access
Online open: the open access option offered by Wiley’s subscription-based journals
APC (Article Publication Charge): the fee charged to make an article open access
Creative commons license: a public copyright license where the author retains copyright and the public is allowed to reuse the content
Free/ freely accessible/ gratis: free online access
Libre: free online access with some additional re-use rights

So what about accessing the BES Journals?

All BES Journals are hybrid journals, so by default, content is available to subscribers, but articles can be made Online Open, if an APC is paid.

However, a huge amount of BES Journal content is also free:

  • Two years after issue publication all of our content, back to 1998, is made freely available through Wiley Online Library.
  • Institutions in the developing world can access all Journal content through initiatives, such as AGORA with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and OARE  (Online Access to Research in the Environment) with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • Specific article types within all of our Journals are always free to access. Journal of Animal Ecology – In Focus, How to, Synthesis. Functional Ecology – Review, Perspective, FE Spotlight, Commentary. Functional Ecology lay summaries are also all free to access. Methods in Ecology and Evolution – Applications. Journal of Applied Ecology – Policy Direction, Practitioner’s Perspective.  Journal of Ecology – Biological Flora.
  • We often make certain manuscripts freely accessible for short periods. For example, if a manuscript is included as part of a special feature or virtual issue or if it is receiving a lot of interest in the media and may be being accessed by non-academic audiences who do not have subscription access through their organisation. Additionally, Issue 1 of every Journal is free to access and Journals that have Editor’s choices make these papers free to access for that issue.

How can content be made more discoverable?

Once your manuscript is accepted for publication in one of our Journals we provide tips to maximise the discoverability of your article. This can be done through search engine optimization of your manuscript and promoting your article via press releases, blog posts, podcasts, videos, lay summaries and other social media. The BES Journals promote all articles on the Journal Twitter and Facebook accounts. Other third party tools, such as Orcid and Kudos are also increasingly being used by authors to communicate research findings.

Our preprint policy allows you to upload the pre-review version of your manuscript in a preprint repository and on publication you can add a link to the final version on Wiley Online Library.

Access our content for free now

There are many tools that as an author you can make use of to make your manuscript more discoverable, and as a society we can help you to make your manuscript accessible in a number of different ways. For this open access week, we have made the latest issue of each Journal free for the week. Take a look now:
Functional Ecology
Journal of Animal Ecology
Journal of Applied Ecology
Journal of Ecology
Methods in Ecology and Evolution