How Peer Review and open access journals are better than print journals

 No man is an island entirely on his own. That is not hyperbole but a very obvious truth. You cannot hope to survive on your own and do it all just with your own help. In every field of work, involvement of and discussions with others are the unmistakably integral aspects of growth. 

 

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Life is just like a game of escape room breakout. You need a team of players helping each other out, supporting one another, and making up for each other's weaknesses to make it to the end successfully. On your own, there are too many things that need attention simultaneously, and eventually, you will feel burnt out, not to mention, you will also fail at the task you had set out to accomplish. 

 

When it comes to publishing scholarly articles, it is no different. Here, the role of peer reviewers is an irreplaceable one.  

But first, do you know what peer review is?  

In simple words, the notion of peer review is based on the idea of a circle of reviewers who work to validate the given academic research. The system of peer review exists to help you improve and uplift the quality of your research work and pushes up your networking possibilities in academic circles. 

 

Even though criticisms are a common factor in peer review, it still stands as a widely accredited mode to validate academic research works. The idea of peer review has existed for about 350 years and thus might even be seen as a tradition.  


So, now that you understand what peer review is, let us try to answer the following question:  

What are open access journals and print journals?  

Open access refers to a broad international movement that caters to granting free and open online access to academic information and resources from publications to even data. It is a scholarly model that accelerates the spread of scholarly communication, thus making research information available to all readers at zero cost. In contrast to the traditional model wherein you are required to pay a certain subscription fee to access the journals, open access journals are much easier to access.  

 

On the other hand, print journals are, just as the name suggests, a physical or hardcopy version of your journal. From periodicals and serials to magazines, print journals can be of different kinds, which are published either weekly, monthly or even annually.   

How is peer review better than print journals?  

Providing your research for scrutiny and criticism in the hands of literary experts helps in pushing you towards a position of excellence. Not only does it ensure that your work is one of high quality, but it also helps in determining the validity, significance, and authenticity of your work. Peer review also benefits you by offering suitable suggestions on ways to improve the quality of your research work and identify the pitfalls that exist in it. Let us now try and understand the further benefits of peer review in the field of research writing.  

1. Correction of vague terms  

Often, people end up using far too many vague and abstract words in articulating their research work and, in turn, pull down the quality of their research. While the use of the different AI-powered software available today can be helpful, there is still no substitute for proofreading your work yourself.  

 

Further, peer review can be immensely beneficial for you to understand what words or phrases sound better in a given context. There can be nothing better than getting some helpful feedback to improve the quality of your research. Adopting the suggestions given by your peers can help you stray away from vague terms in your work.   

2. Understand if your work is effectively comprehensible 

Feedback from your peers can serve you multifaceted purposes. Once they go through your research work, it can help you understand if your work is comprehensible to them.  

 

Finding that your research takes substantial time for your peers to grasp is an immediate hint to change, modify or edit your work. It could mean that there is inconsistency in your work or its flow, so make sure that you work accordingly on it.   

3. Understand the perspective of others 

For any kind of research manuscript, one of the most vital factors is understanding others' opinions and views. It is only by understanding how your peers react to the issues raised in your research can you understand the credibility of your work.  

 

It can help you to think out of the box about ways in which you can place your thoughts in a better way in the research. Listening to the views of your peers without being prejudiced can help you develop your research work in a better way. 


These are just a few reasons why peer review can be so beneficial for your research work, and there are still various other reasons for the same.   

How are open access journals better than print journals?  

With the rapid development of the online platform, there are several benefits of publishing an open-access journal over a print journal in today's world. While there may still be some disadvantages of this method, the advantages are hard to overlook. Some of the most crucial advantages of publishing your work in the former are given below:  

1. Increases the visibility of your work 

First of all, the most important thing that you would be looking for once you publish your research work is its visibility. With open access journals in the sphere, the visibility of your work is pushed up globally. It erodes the limitations of visibility of your work, making it reach more and more people across the world. Studies even show that in contrast to non-open access journals, it has a greater chance of being read by people and are also cited more often than the others.   

2. Your work has free access 

Making your research freely accessible to anyone across the world is going to usher more readers to your research. Unlike traditional journals, where readers have to make a payment to read them, open access journals have the upper hand. Not everyone can afford to make a payment each time they wish to read a journal. But, by being available free of cost, your journal can now be equally read even by economically disadvantaged audiences all across the globe.  

3. Publication time is shorter 

Unlike traditional journals, wherein it takes time for your work to be accepted before it is published, open access journals are published within very less time. Open access journals are thus helpful for authors who are looking for efficiency and rapid publication of their research work. It even accelerates the time within which your research work is spread amongst the literary circles and academicians.   

4. Retain the copyright of your work 

Yet another often-overlooked advantage of publishing your work in an open-access journal is the ability to retain copyright. As you may be aware, once your work is published in a traditional journal, you are also selling your copyright to them forever. But, by instead publishing your work in an open-access journal, you can preserve your copyright efficiently. Thus, you can easily reuse any of your content without the need for any permission elsewhere.  

Conclusion 

Hopefully, this article has been resourceful to you in understanding the benefits of peer review and open access journals contrary to print journals. Keeping this knowledge in mind, you can now proceed to work on your next research and put it for peer review before publishing it in a suitable journal of your choice!