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Open Access improves returns to public research funding: A perspective from Germany


Open Access has become a major mechanism whereby the returns to public investment in research are maximized. Initially, the information technology revolution resulted in new dysfunctions and inequalities of scholarly communication, such as large price differences among publishers and journals; widespread usage limitations and re-use restrictions based on copyright; or systemic manipulation based on unmerited co-authorship, undue delays in peer review, and even outright fraud. Open Access mitigates or resolves these dysfunction and inequalities because (a) it provides fair returns to all stakeholders; (b) offers unlimited access and efficient usage; (c) enhances quality safeguards (i.e. transparent processes including easier detection of plagiarism and fraud); and (d) enables free sharing and re-use (e.g. CC-BY license).