Bioethics Blogs

Title: OA Journals Are More For Biomedical Scientists And Not for (All) Bioethicists

More and more journals are moving to an open access (OA)
platform. OA journals are great because they defer the costs of publication and
editorial management onto the researcher and not on readers of journals. There
are many advantages to the OA movement. For starters, individual or
institutional subscription to expensive journals is not required and OA
articles are readily sought, downloaded and cited. There are also advantages to
the researchers (authors) of publications, including the potential for greater
access, higher citation, and wider circulation. For these and other reasons,
many journals are jumping on the OA bandwagon. However, OA is not for everyone
because it relies on authors to pay anywhere from several hundred to several
thousand dollars. This can be limiting to certain individuals or even fields of
researchers. Take bioethics for instance. Bioethicists use conceptual research
methods making normative arguments, and they also use various empirical, social
science research methods. Most bioethicists do not obtain large research grants
that can cover the high costs to publish in OA journals. Bioethicists can perform
research without external grant support although having funds certainly helps
with empirical research. Moreover, younger investigators who likely have little
to no money from grants are at a disadvantage. Usually in biomedical science,
there is a culture of grant writing, intra-institutional collaboration for
junior scholars to team up with senior investigators who have funds, and support
for junior scholars including start-up funds or seed money. Yet start-up and
seed money are less common for bioethics researchers beginning their own
research programs.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.