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Open access to scientific articles: a review of benefits and challenges

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The Internet has fundamentally changed the publishing of scholarly peer reviewed journals, and the way readers find and access articles. Digital access is nowadays the norm, in particular for researchers. The Internet has enabled a totally new business model, Open Access (OA), in which an article is openly available in full text for anyone with Internet access. This article reviews the different options to achieve this, whether by journals changing their revenue structures from subscription to publishing charges, or authors utilizing a number of options for posting OA versions of article manuscripts in repositories. It also discusses the regrettable emergence of “predatory” publishers, who spam academics, and make money by promising them rapid publication with only the semblance of peer review. The situation is further discussed from the viewpoints of different stakeholders, including academics as authors and readers, practicing physicians and the general public.

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I am grateful to my wife, M.D. Ulla Björk, who is a clinician specialized in internal medicine, and who provided useful comments to improve the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Bo-Christer Björk.

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Björk, BC. Open access to scientific articles: a review of benefits and challenges. Intern Emerg Med 12, 247–253 (2017).

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