Scholars conduct and disseminate research for the betterment of society and for recognition in their discipline. While they are compensated for conducting research they are not compensated for the articles they write pertaining to the research. Scholars most often lose rights as a result of traditional publishing. The extent of this is dependent on the publishing companies' policies.
Most publishers charge money or place restrictions for access to this research. Inherent problems include:
In academia, scholars are rewarded based on the quantity, quality, and impact of their research. A variety of performance metrics have been created to assist with the measurement of these criteria. Most fall short of being a comprehensive measuring tool.
Tenure and promotion committees consider metrics when evaluating faculty. Thus, faculty attempt to publish in high impact factor journals. Many of these journals are issued by large for-profit publishers charging users exorbitant fees.
Scholars may be reluctant to publish through alternative publishers for fear that their work may not get the same recognition from tenure and promotion committees. It may take years for Open Access journals to get an impact factor and be recognized. The established journals have the advantage of time and marketing.
The Internet provides a means for new models and tools for scholarly communication, particularly dissemination. These models use Internet websites or content management systems to organize and distribute research content. These digital platforms take the form of digital journals and repositories.
Benefits to publishing in alternative formats include: