Unlimited Knowledge

 

open access pic2What could possibly be better than knowledge at your fingertips and the extraordinary nature of the internet? This is what Open Access Journals have given us over recent years and it’s only getting my diverse.  In a lot of instances we no longer need to go to the bookstore, the library or even to school, the information is at our fingertips now in our living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, coffee shops and even our vehicles.

Open-access journals are scholarly journals that are available online to the reader “without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself.”[1] Some are subsidized, and some require payment on behalf of the author.

Some open-access journals are subsidized and are financed by an academic institution, learned society or a government information center. Others are financed by payment of article processing charges by submitting authors, money typically made available to researchers by their institution or funding agency.

Two Journals I reviewed are:

The Journal of Politics and Law (JPL) is a double-blind peer-reviewed international journal dedicated to promoting scholarly exchange among teachers and researchers in the field of politics and law. The journal is published quarterly in both print and online versions by the Canadian Center of Science and Education. The scope of JPL includes the following fields: political theory, political philosophy, political economy, comparative politics, international relations, legal history, legal theory, international law, constitutional and administrative law, criminal law, contract law, tort law, property law, equity and trusts.  Authors are encouraged to submit complete, unpublished, original, and full-length articles that are not under review in any other journals.  The online version of the journal is free access and download.

and

 The Behavioural Sciences Undergraduate Journal (BSUJ) is a peer-reviewed, open-access, undergraduate journal focused in the behavioural sciences.  The BSUJ is a relatively new journal, its inaugural issue having been published in 2013.

Some Similarities:

  • Both are free for all to use and access;
  • Both are peer-reviewed;
  • Both have a wide array of topics within their disciplines;
  • Both are Canadian based;
  • Both are easy to navigate;

Some Differences:

  • JPL is much larger and has been around for longer so it had more to navigate through the cite;
  • JPL had many more articles to view and review, based on its size;
  • BSUJ did not have a very clear checklist for the submission process whereas JPL outlines everything very clearly;
  • BSUJ allows submissions that are not necessarily first time published
    • Submissions include and are not limited to:
    • commentary (on the field, on other papers, argue a point)
    • review (argue a larger point, bring research up to speed, compare models and definitions)
    • analysis (critical, qualitative, quanitative, experimental)
  • Whereas JPL has stricter publishing guidelines:
    • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
    • The submission file is in Microsoft Word file format.
    • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
    • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
    • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

Overall both journals were good and easy to go through with informative articles and submissions.  I found that the idealogy of the JPL and BSUJ were also well demonstrated in the sense that all submissions are peer-reviewed and go through a specific process as to what is published in their respective journals.  I found that both journals had a good variety of articles but that the articles stayed within the scope of the journals disciplines.

 “An old tradition and a new technology have converged to make possible an unprecedented public good. The old tradition is the willingness of scientists and scholars to publish the fruits of their research in scholarly journals without payment, for the sake of inquiry and knowledge. The new technology is the internet. The public good they make possible is the world-wide electronic distribution of the peer-reviewed journal literature and completely free and unrestricted access to it by all scientists, scholars, teachers, students, and other curious minds. Removing access barriers to this literature will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge.”

References:

Open Access, Free Access to Law and Access to Canadian Legal Scholarship (Part 1) and (Part 2)
By Louis Mirando
http://www.slaw.ca/2013/10/25/open-access-free-access-to-law-and-access-to-canadian-legal-scholarship/
http://www.slaw.ca/2014/02/20/open-access-free-access-to-law-and-access-to-canadian-legal-scholarship-part-2/

Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_access_journal

Journal of Politics and Law
http://ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/jpl/index

Behavioural Sciences Undergraduate Journal
http://mrujs.mtroyal.ca/index.php/bsuj

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