Scientific Steps Group

open access policy1

Open Access Policy


At Scientific Steps Group, we are committed to promoting open access to scholarly research and supporting the global dissemination of knowledge. This Open Access Policy outlines our guidelines and requirements for authors, readers, and the broader academic community regarding open access publishing.

An Open Access publication is one that meets the following conditions:

» The author(s) and copyright holder(s) grant to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship, as well as the right to make small number of printed copies for their personal use.

» A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated above, in a suitable standard electronic format is deposited immediately upon initial publication in at least one online repository that is supported by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well-established organization that seeks to enable Open Access, unrestricted distribution, interoperability, and long-term archiving.

» Open Access is a property of individual works.

» Community standards, rather than copyright law, will continue to provide the mechanism for enforcement of proper attribution and responsible use of the published work.

The Open Access movement – A comprehensive outlook

» In recent times, there has been a lot of debate on the implementation of Open Access for research publications. Keeping this in mind, a comprehensive outlook on Open Access and its impact on scientific community is being provided in this article.

» Open Access should be seen as a means of accelerating scientific discovery by providing free and unrestricted access of scientific knowledge via the Internet. An essential role of Open Access is the long-term preservation of peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles and research data. Open Access is not only used for journal articles but is also being implemented to theses, scholarly monographs, and book chapters. Promotion of Open Access is very crucial to encourage innovation, socio-economic development, and flow of knowledge around the world. As such, Open Access can be defined as an instrument ultimately used for public welfare to stimulate the growth of global science, as well as maintain the quality of scientific achievements at the same time.

» Restricted access to research findings and scientific discovery through subscription and pay-per-view journals will only impede communication through the scientific community. In addition, restricted access can also hamper the education and dissemination of scientific knowledge to the aspiring younger generations who are keen to pursue a career in science. Increased productivity and development of science can only be achieved by diffusing knowledge and providing the facilities for creating permanent repositories such as Open Access.

» Through Open Access publications, scientists can avoid subscription fees and copyright and licensing restrictions to access free scholarly literature. Since Open Access publishing allows the permanent restoration of scientific data through digital copies, other than the constraint of Internet access, scientists around the world can freely share information and collaborate to enhance the progress of science. Open Access journals not only give royalty to free literature, but also reduce costs for paper-copy production, physical storage, and distribution through digitalized copies.

» The benefits of implementing Open Access are reaped by many end users, such as, students, researchers, clinicians, patients, policy makers, and journalists. As long as there is Internet access, people from all over the world will have immediate access to latest research findings. Thus, Open Access initiative helps in unlocking the traditional methods of subscription articles and releasing information to tertiary level readers, who normally would not have access to first hand research studies.

» Realizing the potential of Open Access in terms of greater visibility within and beyond the scientific community, in recent years, there has been a tremendous boost to Open Access movement through various Open Access publishers. We are one such publishing group that believes in this movement and is most ardently working towards the welfare and progress of scientific community. We are built upon the principles of Open Access and is determined to provide free and unrestricted access of research articles to scientists around the world for the advancement of science and technology.

Open Access Publications

Open Access publications refer to the kind of literature that are freely accessible to everyone and are not bound by price and permission barriers, unlike the scientific literature published via the subscription mode.

Although the concept of Open Access publication is not entirely new and has been around for several years, people have begun to realize its importance only recently. The sudden change in perceptions is largely due to the increased and easy internet usage as well as support from government, educational and research institutions, and other funding agencies.

In order to expand the knowledge base and advance the development of science, scientists require unrestricted access to relevant scientific data and scholarly literature. However, limitations in terms of copyright and licensing issues tends to slow down the affectivity of scientific communication. While such first-hand literature is almost completely inaccessible to the less funded universities and educational institutions, even the scholars of universities situated in developed countries are finding it difficult to access some of the specialized literature because of expensive subscription requirements. Therefore, it is essential to bring about a complete transformation in the accessibility of scholarly literature to function effectively in this rapidly changing technological environment.

Contrary to the issues surrounding subscription journals, Open Access journals enable easy access to any published literature through freely available digitalized copies. The full text of Open Access publications can be freely read via internet. Besides free reading, Open Access publications are also permitted to be downloaded and re-used without any barriers.

Other than the authors’ control over the reliability of their work and their right to be properly acknowledged and cited, there is no other constraint in terms of copyrights and licensing. Since authors of scholarly journal articles write to create an impact and attract wider audience, than just generate revenue from copyright laws, most of them are opting for the Open Access mode of publication.

Although the benefits of Open Access are quite apparent, the controversy regarding the quality and peer-review process in Open Access journals is an ongoing debate. Many prominent scientists are skeptical on the quality of the content published in Open Access journals owing to the belief that there is no rigorous peer-review process. Contrary to these widespread misconceptions, Open Access Publications are rigorously peer reviewed and adhere to strict norms of acceptance for publication.

The Open Access initiative

The conception of the Open Access initiative traces back to several decades ago, but it managed to gain momentum only after the 1990s. The increased popularity and application of open access publication can be attributed to the advent of internet. Owing to the physical and economic barriers during the print age, Open Access publishing was almost impossible, even if an author was interested in getting wider audience for his article. With the rise in inflation, print costs have significantly increased which further raised the journal subscription prices.

However, the increased applicability of internet in scholarly publishing enabled authors to upload, download, print, and distribute digital data at low/no cost. This has offered an alternative to paper publishing and significantly benefitted the Open Access initiative. In accordance to the changing trends in the development of science and technology and the increasing volume of published knowledge, there is a growing demand for rapid exchange of scientific data. This demand can be met by transforming from pay-per-view printing to Open Access publishing.

The Budapest Open Access Initiative, Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities of 2003, Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing of 2003, and the Salvador Declaration on Open Access of 2005 are some of the milestones that further propagated the applicability of open access initiative in scientific publishing.

The Open Access initiative is also promoted by UNESCO as a means of contributing to the progress of global science. A clear mandate has been given by UNESCO, which states that UNESCO should ‘maintain, increase and diffuse knowledge, by assuring the conservation and protection of the world’s inheritance of books, works of art and monuments of history and science’ (Constitution, art, 1.2 c).

All these events helped in bringing about the public realization that Open Access can augment in the advancement of global science research by bringing together researchers, universities, libraries, institutions and scientific societies onto a common platform for the exchange of knowledge.

SSG Open Access Policy

We recognize the importance of disseminating knowledge freely to foster scientific progress and societal impact. Therefore, we have developed the following Open Access Policy for our peer-reviewed journals:

1. Scope and Coverage: 

  • This policy applies to all peer-reviewed journals published by SSG. 
  • The policy covers original research articles, reviews, and other scholarly content published in our journals.

2. Open Access Options: 

  • Authors have the option to choose between open access and traditional publication models. 
  • Open access articles will be freely accessible to readers without any subscription or paywall restrictions. 
  • Traditional publication articles will be subject to subscription or access fees.

3. Open Access License: 

  • For open access articles, authors will be required to grant a non-exclusive license to SSG under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY)
  • The CC BY license allows others to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the work for any purpose, provided proper attribution is given to the original author(s).

4. Article Processing Charges (APCs): 

  • To cover the costs of open access publishing, authors of accepted articles opting for open access will be responsible for paying Article Processing Charges (APCs)
  • APCs will be clearly communicated to authors during the submission and review process. 
  • Authors may seek funding from their institutions or research grants to cover the APCs.

5. Repository Deposit: 

  • All open access articles published by SSG will be deposited in a suitable digital repository. 
  • The repository will ensure long-term preservation and accessibility of the articles.

6. Embargo Period: 

  • In some cases, a temporary embargo period may be applied to open access articles. 
  • During the embargo period, access to the full text of the article may be restricted. 
  • After the embargo period, the article will be freely available to the public.

7. Archiving: 

  • SSG will support the archiving of articles in recognized open access repositories and databases. 
  • We encourage authors to self-archive their preprints and post-prints in accordance with the policies of their respective research communities.

8. Compliance Monitoring: 

  • SSG will monitor compliance with the Open Access Policy and take appropriate measures to address any non-compliance. 
  • Non-compliant articles may be subject to access restrictions or removal from the journal.

9. Transparency and Communication: 

  • The Open Access Policy will be prominently displayed on the journal website. 
  • SSG will communicate the Open Access Policy to authors, reviewers, and editors to ensure awareness and understanding.

This Open Access Policy is designed to facilitate the broad dissemination of knowledge while maintaining high standards of peer review and scholarly publishing. We remain committed to supporting open access initiatives and collaborating with the research community to advance scientific knowledge.

SSG reserves the right to revise and update this policy as necessary, with any changes communicated to relevant stakeholders and published on our website.

Advantages of Open Access for Authors

The High Availability and Visibility of our open access articles is guaranteed through the free and unlimited accessibility of the publication over the Internet. Everyone can freely access and download the full text of all articles published with SSG: readers of open access journals, i.e., mostly other researchers, do not need to pay any subscription or pay-per-view charges to read articles published by SSG. Open access publications are also more likely to be included in search engines and indexing databases.

The Higher Citation Impact of open access articles results from their high publicity and availability. Open access publications are demonstrably more frequently cited.

Lower Publishing Costs: Open access publishers cover their costs for editorial handling and editing of a paper by charging authors’ institutes or research funding agencies. The cost of handling and producing an article is covered through the one-time payment of an article processing charge (APC) for each accepted article. The APCs of open access publishers are only a fraction of the average income per paper earned by traditional, subscription-based publishers. SSG’s article processing charge (APC) is the same, irrespective of article length, because we wish to encourage publication of long papers with complete results and full experimental or computational details.

Faster Publication in SSG’s open access journals is achieved by online-only availability. Accepted articles are typically published online more rapidly in SSG journals than those of traditional, subscription-based and printed journals are.