Reasons to temper enthusiasm about open access nursing journals
Taylor and Francis
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Background: Open access is a relatively new phenomenon within nursing science. Objectives: Several papers from various nursing journals have been published recently on the disadvantages of the traditional model of purchasing proprietary fee-based databases to access scholarly information. Just few nursing scholars are less optimistic about the possible benefits of open access nursing journals. Design and methods: A critical reflection on the merits and pitfalls of open access journals along insights from the literature and personal opinion. Two arguments are discussed, providing justification for tempering enthusiasm about open access journals. Results: First, only research groups with sufficient financial resources can publish in open access journals. Second, open access has conflicting incentives, where the aim is to expand production at the expense of publishing quality articles; a business model that fits well into a neoliberal discourse. Conclusion: There are valid reasons to criticise the traditional publishers for the excessive costs of a single article, therefore preventing the dissemination of scholarly nursing information. On the contrary, the business model of open access publishers is no less imbued with the neoliberal tendency of lining the pockets.