Open Access Publishing
A Key Enabler to Research Impact, Informed Practice and Social Justice
Keywords:Open access, research impact, paywalls, social justice, neoliberalism, informed social work practice, ethics
There is mounting pressure for university researchers to build stronger research partnerships with communities so research engagement and impact can be enacted and measured. At a perfunctory glance, the engagement and impact agenda would appear to be a win-win for researchers and end users. Through rewarding and productive university/community research collaborations, new knowledge can be produced, published and translated into policy and practice for meaningful real-world impact. Yet research impact looks less certain if practitioners, organisations, policy makers and the wider public cannot access scholarly publications because they are locked behind subscription paywalls. In this article we reflect on research partnerships, and the reasoning, rhetoric and accepted protocols in publishing research findings. We propose that open access publishing is a social justice issue that is key to social work research engagement and impact and research-informed practice.
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