Publishing: Would I Rather?

As a student, I have the luxury to gain access to many scholarly journals, where I can do research and find information that is expensive to access if I wasn’t a student paying a fee for access to these journals. Also as a student, I am in need of finding a wealth of scholarly information for the hundreds of papers I’ve written for my classes, and having access to this information is essential to my education.

However, I am going to be graduating in the Spring semester, and I will subsequently lose access to these journals and begin to pay for them if I am not enrolled in a graduate program.

With an average of $1000.00 a year per journal (Cham, 2012) I doubt that I will be able to afford access any longer. If I were to go on and become a researcher, and have a choice to publish in the American Historical Review, I would choose not to publish there.

Publishing on my own professional blog and have it appear on the public website of the history department of where I am working. This open access to not only my own research but others research as well is a controversial topic among publishers and researchers.

According to Curt Rice, paying first for research to be done, and then volunteer editors reviewing the articles, and then having to pay once again for subscriptions is not the way to handle scholarly research. Along with that, some of the biggest publishers profit rates exceed oil company’s profits. That’s huge!

With so much information at our fingertips, limiting my work to only those that can pay for it does only benefits that small percentage of people.

Personally, I believe in open information, and by choosing to publish in a specific journal that a subscription fee is required is not part of the message I want to send to others. Melissa Terras was someone who decided to tweet her paper to make it accessible to anyone that wants to read it. She had a total download of 535 times, where before she only had a total of 2 downloads before she tweeted and blogged her paper.

Opening up access to her paper brought the information she had to say in to the public domain, and had much more traffic if it were to be published by a subscription only journal (2011). I believe that information should be open access, and that anyone that wants to learn more about something should be able to have it for free, and not be subject to limited access if they can’t afford it.




Cham, J. (2012, October 24th)  “Open Access Explained,” PhD Comics


Rice, C. (2014, October 8th) “Wall Street analysts say open access has failed due to lack of focus, but their analysis may help it succeed,”



Terras, M. (2011, November 7th) “What Happens When You Tweet an Open Access Paper,“Melissa Terras’s


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