In the last few months, you have been strongly encouraged to deposit the full text of your papers in SRI. If the publisher’s policy allows, the paper appears on SRI Open Access, easily discoverable and freely available for anyone to download. Most major funding bodies, including RCUK, now encourage or even mandate this practice; and so do Universities. But if you are not convinced there are great benefits in depositing your papers in SRI, read below…
1. SRI Open Access makes a paper highly visible. If your paper can be posted on SRI Open Access, it will rank highly on Google/Google Scholar. This means that more people than before will be able to find it and read it.
2. Papers in SRI Open Access are downloaded – a lot. In the last year only (April 2011 – April 2012), full-text papers in SRI Open Access have been downloaded 230,238 times. Visit http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/cgi/irstats.cgi to monitor how often your paper is being downloaded.
3. High download rates mean higher citations. The more often a paper is downloaded, the more likely it is to be read and cited. The link between open access and research impact is well documented. By not having your paper freely accessible, you lose potential readers – and citations.
4. SRI Open Access helps you attract new audiences. Your papers are freely available to everyone, without password or subscription barriers. This means that many more people will reach your paper if it is openly accessible: researchers from non-subscribing Universities, potential collaborators from industry and other organisations, and prospective students. SRI papers are widely read, with downloads from over 100 countries.
5. Open access has wider benefits for society. Scholarly journals are expensive. Open access benefits Universities that can only afford subscriptions to a limited number of journals. Even wealthy institutions cannot subscribe to all possible journals. This means that researchers, as well as their employers and funders, may not even have access to literature that they produced or funded themselves. Likewise, those not affiliated with a research institution – practitioners, patients, the wider public – face the same limitations to access.
Open access lifts those barriers, making research immediately and easily available to everyone.