Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2015 and has been refreshed for Open Access Week 2017.
The age of the Internet gave momentum to the open access movement as did the increasing awareness that access to scholarly literature is a public right. The OA movement gradually gained worldwide consensus as more and more scholarly societies, funders, publishers, and researchers joined the efforts to make research behind pay walls accessible. Consequently, the share of OA journal publishing is steadily increasing through the launch of new OA journals as well as a phenomenon called ‘flipping,’ wherein toll access (TA) or subscription-based journals are making a switch to gold OA to give public access to published research. In the past few years, this has been one of the latest trends in publishing where publishers such as Wiley and Nature Publishing Group have flipped some of their journals, giving rise to various speculations about such journals’ sustainability, quality, financial viability, etc. Let us take a closer look at the reasons for journals to flip, the potential consequences, and the future of open access.
Reasons for making a flip