JAE & Thoughts on Open Access

Journal of Agricultural Economics or JAE is one of the renowned and high-ranked International professional journals in my discipline Agricultural and Applied Economics. This journal is published on behalf of the world’s leading associations of professional and academic agricultural economists Agricultural Economics Society (AES). Since its establishment in 1926, AES has been dedicated in promoting “study and teaching of all disciplines relevant to the agricultural, food and related industries, and to rural society and environment.”

In line of AES’s commitment, Journal of Agricultural Economics (JAE) is playing its role as “a forum for research into agricultural economics and related disciplines such as statistics, marketing, business management, politics, history and sociology, and their application to issues in the agricultural, food, and related industries; rural communities, and the environment”. JAE is a GOLD Open Access Journal, meaning it makes all of the final version of the research articles and related content (often time including the data sets) used in the analysis available for free in their website.

Being a graduate student and a researcher, I support Open Access for a handful of reasons and following three of them are worth-mentioning :

1) It helps diffusing the newest work and knowledge in the discipline at a faster rate and in an efficient way by making them accessible to everyone.

2) It helps the authors spreading their ideas and contributions to the existing knowledge base to a broader audience.

3) It help by not adding to the existing frustrations among young academics like me in the discipline or anyone who might take an interest in that particular article) saying “! You do not have access to the full version of this article”.  I am sure many of my fellow Graduate Students can relate to that experience.

No wonder that pretty much of every argument has two sides. In opposition to the benefits of Open Access, critiques often say that incorporating the data sets and the supplementary documents with the article might require a bit of additional work. As a researcher, I agree with the fact of additional work, however, I believe doing that “additional work” also reinforces our integrity towards the research work that we do and thereby, this practice is conducive to Ethical Pursuits in Research and Academia.

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