Open access is opening up information to everyone across the world

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The Source
By: Roza Sakellaropoulou, Mon Oct 25 2021
Roza Sakellaropoulou

Author: Roza Sakellaropoulou

This year, we are celebrating open access week by talking to a number of researchers who have chosen to publish their work openly. We are discussing the reasons behind their choice, and the benefits they have seen for their research and career, and the role that institutions as well as Transformative Agreements can have in assisting with funding. In this interview, Dr. Ingrid Pramling Samuelsson, Professor in Early Childhood Education at Gothenburg, shares her thoughts on publishing open access.

This year’s OA week theme is “It Matters How We Open Knowledge: Building Structural Equity.” What role do you see for OA in addressing equity and inclusion?

For people to get access to quality good research via OA is excellent, but it may be hard for not established researchers to publish their articles or books OA since cost is usually involved.

Please tell us more about your research and why you chose to publish your research Gold OA.

That began with a conference in Melbourne where Astrid Noordermeer (Associate Editor in Springer) participated. Marilyn Fleer and I decided to start a series in Early Childhood Education and Development, where we were the editors of the first issue of play (Pramling Samuelsson, I. & Fleer, M. (Eds.) (2009). Play and learning in early childhood settings: International perspectives, Vol. 1. New York: Springer Verlag. Since this series began in 2009 we have published around 35 volumes.

I have also been the World President of OMEP (World Organization for Early Childhood Education) and during that period Springer took over our international journal; International Journal of Early Childhood. Collaboration with Astrid has been positive and we, in our research group, have since that time published three more books with Springer. Two more are on the way! And also some of my colleagues are publishing open access with Springer.

What has been the impact of publishing your work via open access? Has publishing OA affected the reach/reception of your research among colleagues, other disciplines, or non-academics?

Open access makes research more accessible to many more people, also people from low income countries, who do not have the ability to pay for expensive books. Honesty, I have not followed up the downloads, so I do not know, but I just take it for granted. The benefit is also that when universities subscribe, different chapters can be used in courses at the university.

Do you feel that OA options and benefits are understood well in your discipline? What are the OA publishing barriers/challenges specific to your discipline?

Yes, I think OA is well understood, but in the area of Early Childhood, there is not always money for paying for OA. I am lucky to work at a university that pays for OA when I am the first author, not all universities do that, and then it may be difficult for many researchers. Education is not a field like medicine where there is more of a tradition of paying for OA.

Tell us about your experience publishing open access under the BIBSAM Transformative Agreement with Springer Nature. What were the key benefits?

Have not done that with any other publisher, and I am very satisfied with Springer.

What would be your advice to others thinking of publishing OA?

I think it is the future to publish OA, and maybe by time people will learn to take the cost of OA into account when their putting their applications together. If APC is a barrier, authors should check if their institution participates in a Transformative Agreement. If the institution they are affiliated with has an agreement in place, they may be eligible to publish their articles OA with fees covered.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

A problem is to find reviewers, which is something the publisher has to deal with in the future. I get five to six requests every week for making reviews, which of course is impossible to do. One way it is to let reviewers earn money in the system to then publish their own articles.


Dr. Ingrid Pramling Samuelsson’s article was published OA under the Sweden Transformative Agreement between Springer Nature and BIBSAM. This agreement means authors affiliated with participating institutions can publish OA in more than 1,900 Springer hybrid journals with their fees covered.


Learn more about open access and open research and discover the options offered at Springer Nature.


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About Dr Ingrid Pramling Samuelsson

Dr Ingrid Pramling Samuelsson is professor in Early Childhood Education at Gothenburg. She also holds an UNESCO Chair, since 2008 in ECE and Sustainable Development. She has been world president for World Organization for Early Childhood Education (OMEP) between 2008-2014. Her main research area is young children’s learning and how teachers can provide the best opportunities for this in communication and interaction, in play as well as other activities in preschool. She as numerous publications and developed an preschool pedagogy labelled Development Pedagogy, based om many empirical studies. She is a honorary doctor at Abo University in Finland. She has also been a board member in Swedish UNICEF, and during later years engaged in research, development and publications about ECE and ESD, and started an Network in Sweden for developing practice based in research. 

Roza Sakellaropoulou

Author: Roza Sakellaropoulou

Roza is a Brand Engagement and Marketing Manager in the Open Research team, and she is based in London. Letting the research community and especially researchers know about the benefits that open research has is her main focus.