This week UW-Milwaukee held an Open Access (OA) conference. Among the many topics of discussion was how to move faculty to publishing in OA journals. The ideas ranged from monetary bonuses to publishing in OA journals to mandating publication in OA journals.
The biggest hurdle to OA publication in my view, and others at this conference, is the culture of academia to underestimate the impact of OA journals. 'Impact' was purposefully chosen since as a future tenure seeking professor, publishing in higher impact journals is undoubtedly an important factor in the tenure attainment. It is all well and good for more established academics to champion OA publications, but those individuals already have jobs/tenure/reputation. For those of us that are new to academia, the prospect of publishing in OA journals is, at present, a choice between sharing our research in an effort to be socially responsible or putting our research in the traditional journals, non-OA, to gain reputation, hopefully a job, and eventually tenure.
Though research is still ongoing into the impact of OA journals, I don't think anyone can say that the impact of OA journals is comparable to traditional journals. Combine this uncertainty with the non-universal appreciation of OA publishing, new faculty members are apprehensive about OA publishing. At least in my view.
16 minutes ago