Late on a Friday afternoon in January, I got an e-mail message from Dr. Lynn Elfner, CEO of the Ohio Academy of Science and Acting Editor of The Ohio Journal of Science. Lynn has been an enthusiastic and long-time supporter of the digital archive of OJS in Knowledge Bank. I knew that he was interested in digital publishing, but I wasn’t expecting the great news that had just dropped into my inbox:

By unanimous vote on December 17, 2012, the Executive Committee approved moving The Ohio Journal of Science to a hybrid model: Rapid publication, Open Access online articles plus an annual, single printed volume and an April Annual Meeting Program Abstracts issue in print and online.

open-access-logoAttached to his message was a statement for subscribers bearing the familiar orange Open Access logo. I have been involved with Open Access Week activities on campus in the past, so reading this statement describing the logic behind the decision gave me goosebumps — the good kind. With such a long history of promoting science and science education in Ohio, it is no real surprise that the Academy chose to move in this direction.

Under a handful of titles, The Ohio Journal of Science has been publishing peer-reviewed articles in natural science, engineering, technology, and education for well over 100 years. Since 2006, OJS has been available to the world through Knowledge Bank. Before, the most recently published volumes were held back for two years. Now, articles will be transferred to KB and made available as soon as they are approved in page form.

So what will this mean for authors, researchers, and students? Articles from OJS have been included in major subscription-based indexing/abstracting databases for many years, but articles in Knowledge Bank are also discoverable through Google/Google Scholar. For the authors, fewer barriers to access will mean more readers for their work. Since 2008, more than 3.6 million OJS articles have been downloaded from KB by readers in more than 150 countries. Without a doubt, the audience is out there.