There are many advantages to making one's research open access. The most important advantage is that there are no access barriers for the reader; making research available for the world to read and be built upon.
The scholarly outputs of researchers are immediately visible, accessible and discoverable online. This means that an increased number of readers can convert into an increased number of citations. Adding research to an open access Repository, like OpenUCT, enables UCT to preserve their publishing output. A persistent identifier is added to all material posted, which means that the URL never changes and is resolvable even if the content is migrated to a new system.
These open access benefits extend to our institution as the increased visibility and web presence of UCT’s output is demonstrated by the positive outcome of OpenUCT participation in the Webometrics Ranking Web of Repositories.
In South Africa:
Ranked 8th out of 22 repositories
Ranked 10th out of 65 repositories
In the World ranking: Ranked 423rd out of 2275 repositories
January 2015 (debut Webometrics ranking):
In South Africa:
Ranked 9th out of 22 repositories
Ranked 12th out of 57 repositories
In the World ranking: Ranked 470th out of 2154 repositories
Having an institutional repository that contains UCT’s scholarship suggests that OpenUCT can be a global window display of UCT’s research activities.
In 1878, Daniel Coit Gilman, the First President of Johns Hopkins University, stated:
"It is one of the noblest duties of a university to advance knowledge and to diffuse it, not merely among those who can attend the daily lectures, but far and wide."