IEEE Launches Open-Access ‘Mega-Journal’

The association hopes its newest open-access journal—a platform for scientists and engineers to make their research on a variety of subjects widely available—will help advance the technology industry.

At a time when academic publishing is grappling with the question of open access to research articles,  IEEE, a major technology association, has announced the launch of its first online open-access “mega journal.”

IEEE Access will provide free online access to research articles covering a range of subject areas that are harder to fit into single-topic journals because they either cross disciplines or are at the boundaries of traditional fields, the association said in a statement. Articles will be applications-based, illustrating how scientific research can be practically applied to the technology industry.

“For engineers and technical professionals, we expect IEEE Access to develop into a tremendous resource for influential and practical ideas that can help bring new innovations to market faster, improve manufacturing, and help advance what are often complex, multidisciplinary engineering challenges,” said the journal’s editor-in-chief, Dr. Michael Pecht, in announcing the launch this week.

IEEE Access, which joins the association’s existing lineup of open-access publications, including four single-topic journals, is also meant to provide greater opportunities for author exposure. Researchers who successfully submit an article can opt to pay $1,750 for it to be openly accessed online, increasing their chances of being cited in other articles and research.

The issue of free access to research on the internet received significant media attention last winter after the suicide of internet activist Aaron Swartz, who was facing criminal charges for planning to openly post academic articles he downloaded from the online subscription-based library JSTOR.

The federal government is also beginning to make some of its research available for free. In February, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a memorandum requiring federal agencies with more than $100 million in research and development expenditures to openly publish their research on the web.

“Scientific research supported by the federal government catalyzes innovative breakthroughs that drive our economy,” OSTP Director John P. Holdren wrote. “The results of that research become the grist for new insights and are assets for progress in areas such as health, energy, the environment, agriculture, and national security.”


Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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