Browse articles and books on open access

A growing collection of articles and books on the topic of open access in general and in relation to media and communication studies.

Latest update: 19 October 2017

Pooley, J. D. (2015). Sinking the flagship: Why communication studies is better off without one. International Journal of Communication, 9, 1247–1255. Retrieved from


Does U.S. communication research have a flagship journal? Not really, if by flagship we mean something like the American Sociological Review or the American Political Science Review. Those are unquestioned flagships, ratified (in a self-reinforcing loop) by citation metrics and by the disciplines’ tacit knowledge (Garand & Giles, 2003; Hargens, 1991; Oromaner, 2008). Ask a media studies scholar, and she might mention the Journal of Communication—but she could just as easily offer Quarterly Journal of Speech, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly or even Cinema Journal. 1 She wouldn’t be wrong in any case. All four titles carry a major scholarly association’s imprimatur.2 What is odd, of course, is that there are four scholarly associations all claiming the same territory. If media and communication has no flagship, it is because there no coherent discipline in the first place

Pooley, J. D. (2016). Open Media Scholarship: The Case for Open Access in Media Studies. International Journal of Communication, 10, 1-17.


This commentary, after outlining the broader rationale for open access in scholarly publishing, makes three arguments to support the claim that media and communication scholars should be at the forefront of the open access movement: (1) The topics that we write about are inescapably multimedia, so our publishing platforms should be capable— at the very least—of embedding the objects that we study; (2) media studies, owing to their fragmentation and marginality, can sidestep the prestige “penalty” that drags down other disciplines’ open access efforts; and (3) our rich research traditions on popular media dynamics are begging to be applied (and perhaps rethought) in the context of scholarly communication.

Rutten, P. et al. (2010). Data Curation in Arts and Media Research. Download from Surffoundation website.


This report from 2010 presents the state of data curation and data reuse practices within the fields of Comparative Arts, Art History and Media Studies. This report is written as part of the project Collectioneren van Data [Collecting Data], which is one of the work packages within the SURFshare programme 2007-2010, WP7: Data Curation and digital preservation. Research was carried out on the basis of a literature review and a series of interviews among three stakeholder groups: 1. Researchers in the Comparative Arts, Art History and Media Studies. 2. Organisations active in the field of data curation. 3. Academic Publishers who have shown an interest in enhancing their publications with research data.

Schultz, T.A., (2017). Opening Up Communication: Assessing Open Access Practices in the Communication Studies Discipline. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 5(1). DOI:


Open access (OA) citation effect studies have looked at a number of disciplines but not yet the field of communication studies. This study researched how communication studies fare with the open access citation effect, as well as whether researchers follow their journal deposit policies. The study tracked 920 articles published in 2011 and 2012 from 10 journals and then searched for citations and an OA version using the program Publish or Perish. Deposit policies of each of the journals were gathered from SHERPA/RoMEO and used to evaluate OA versions. From the sample, 42 percent had OA versions available. Of those OA articles, 363 appeared to violate publisher deposit policies by depositing the version of record, but the study failed to identify post-print versions for 87 percent of the total sample for the journals that allowed it. All articles with an OA version had a median of 17 citations, compared to only nine citations for non-OA articles. The citation averages, which are statistically significant, show a positive correlation between OA and the number of citations. The study also shows communication studies researchers are taking part in open access but perhaps without the full understanding of their publisher’s policies.

Suber, P. (2012) Open access. Essential Knowledge Series. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. Download:


The Internet lets us share perfect copies of our work with a worldwide audience at virtually no cost. We take advantage of this revolutionary opportunity when we make our work “open access”: digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. Open access is made possible by the Internet and copyright-holder consent, and many authors, musicians, filmmakers, and other creators who depend on royalties are understandably unwilling to give their consent. But for 350 years, scholars have written peer-reviewed journal articles for impact, not for money, and are free to consent to open access without losing revenue. In this concise introduction, Peter Suber tells us what open access is and isn’t, how it benefits authors and readers of research, how we pay for it, how it avoids copyright problems, how it has moved from the periphery to the mainstream, and what its future may hold. Distilling a decade of Suber’s influential writing and thinking about open access, this is the indispensable book on the subject for researchers, librarians, administrators, funders, publishers, and policy makers.

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