There are two main modes of open access publishing - Green Open Access, where the author has the right to provide free access to the article outside the publisher's web site in a repository or on his/her own website, and Gold Open Access, where articles are available for free download directly from the publisher on the day of publication.
Opening of content and data, however does not necessarily mean "easy to discover and re-use". The Biodiversity Data Journal proposed the term "Advanced Open Access" to describe an integrated, narrative (text) and data publishing model where the main goal is to make content "re-usable" and "interoperable" for both humans and computers.
To publish effectively in open access, it is not sufficient simply to provide PDF or HTML files online. It is crucial to put these under a reuse-friendly license and to implement technologies that allow machine-readable content and data to be harvested and collated into a big data pool.
The Advanced Open Access means:
- Free to read
- Free to re-use, revise, remix, redistribute
- Easy to discover and harvest
- Content automatically summarised by aggregators
- Data and narrative integrated to the widest extent possible
- Human- and computer-readable formats
- Community-based, pre- and post-publication peer-review
- Community ownership of data
- Free to publish or at low cost affordable by all
BDJ shortens the distance between "narrative" (text) and "data" publishing. Many data types, such as species occurrences, checklists, measurements and others, are converted into text from spreadsheets for better readability by humans. Conversely, text from an article can be downloaded as structured data or harvested by computers for further analysis.
"Open access is definitely one of the greatest steps in scientific communication comparable to the invention of the printing technology or the peer-review system. Great but not sufficient!" said Prof. Lyubomir Penev, founder of Pensoft Publishers and the Biodiversity Data Journal. "We need to switch the focus already from making content 'available for free download' to being discoverable and extractable. Such re-usability multiplies society's investment in science".
The Biodiversity Data Journal is designed by Pensoft Publishers and was funded in part by the European Union's Seventh Framework Program (FP7) project ViBRANT.
Source: Smith V, Georgiev T, Stoev P, Biserkov J, Miller J, Livermore L, Baker E, Mietchen D, Couvreur T, Mueller G, Dikow T, Helgen K, Frank J, Agosti D, Roberts D, Penev L (2013) Beyond dead trees: integrating the scientific process in the Biodiversity Data Journal. Biodiversity Data Journal 1: e995. DOI: 10.3897/BDJ.1.e995