Any student entering academia dreams of getting their first high-impact factor journal. While it might be slightly unrealistic to want to publish in one of the big names (unless you’re fortunate), it shouldn’t be an unattainable dream. Many articles are discussing the glaring disparities and inaccessibility in science, and it’s isn’t surprising. But why exactly is this an issue?

An overly expensive process

One of the main reasons why science has become inaccessible is the costs associated with publishing in high-impact factor journals. I’m sure you’ve heard of the extreme costs associated with publishing in journals such as Nature and Elsevier, where it can range from $2000 to $9500 per article. While the status related to publishing in such journals could provide a significant boost to any author’s career, it simply isn’t justified. Many studies are not so generously funded, which means that it could pose significant barriers to those who might have noteworthy results, but just don’t have the money to publish. 

Tiers in scientific publishing
Tiers in scientific publishing
Source: Brainard, 2021

Yes, there are many tiers of publishing that can be found in the figure above, but can we justify the roaring cost of publishing even though it’s an open-access journal?

Increasing inaccessibility in science

Another critical issue is that scientific publishing is limited to English. While I agree that English is the universal language and increases accessibility in science in other ways, there are many authors whose first language is quite different. So, how do they get past that barrier? Simply put, there’s very little they can do. They either hire a service to ‘polish’ their paper or publish in predatory journals, which, let’s just say, hurt your reputation more than you think. 

With open access journals charging so much and practically being out of reach to many, it’s getting harder to publish in them as well. Most scientists who have experience in publishing in them have a higher chance of getting through. Also, the recent court proceedings by such journals to block open access libraries such as Sci-Hub and Libgen goes to show it really isn’t about science anymore. While some might say that they’re better writers or present their work differently, it could also point to elitism in academia, which is a conversation for another time. 

How are such issues being tackled?

To battle the growing inaccessibility in science, many initiatives have popped in the past few years. For example, during the pandemic, it was widespread to see many preprint papers (Pending peer-review) being published all across the globe because it was the need of the hour considering the use of that information for studies globally. 

Other initiatives include open-access video content such as Vkonte that publishes on-demand scientific content to keep up with the latest developments in your field! The idea of building a global community that engages and discusses key scientific innovations, not limited to academia, encourages constant learning and growth. What’s terrific about the platform is that it’s completely free to access, and experts only pay a $10 administrative fee to publish their research. 

Highlighting their benefits, one of the major defining factors of the platform is that they publish video content only. We all know how tedious it can be to read an entire scientific paper, so why not watch the expert explain it? My fascination with microbiology directly took me to one of my favourite picks linked below: 

How can we improve the existing vaccine for Tuberculosis to combat the growing number of multi-resistant strains?

Of course, the platform is not just limited to microbiology, but they have over 20 categories within science where you can explore the latest industry trends! With such a broad base of global scientists talking about their research, I doubt that you’ll run out of content any time soon. You can find their website & social media linked below.




Let me know your thoughts on the platform in the comments down below!

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