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Open Access at the U of M

Giving child development research away: Intentionally free, open, and accessible worldwide

By January 13, 2021September 16th, 2023No Comments
Lauren Eales described their desire to publish OA: “to be accessible for high school and college classrooms- enabling more and more people to learn about #RemoteAcculturation around the globe.”

Screenshot of the tweet that launched this conversation:

Social Sciences Librarian Amy Riegelman is an enthusiastic proponent of open access publishing including research, publications, and presentations on green and gold open access (Bakker, Putrow, & Riegelman, 2020; Marsolek et al., 2020; Riegelman, 2020). In one of her roles, she supports researchers in the Institute of Childhood Development in College of Education and Human Development, including Professor Gail Ferguson, Director of the Culture and Family Life Lab.

Gail and lab members recently published an article in Online Readings in Psychology and Culture (ORPC), an open access (OA) journal which facilitates both free access and publishing (i.e., authors do not pay an article processing fee) (Eales, Gillespie, Eckerstorfer, Eltag, Global Educators Group, & Ferguson, 2020).

As an open access publication, ORPC articles are accessible to those with or without institutional or personal journal subscriptions. ORPC’s mission is to “serve as a resource for researchers, teachers, students, and anyone who is interested in the interrelationships between Psychology and Culture.”

Here are excerpts from Amy’s interview with Gail Ferguson, edited for space and clarity.

What experience(s) led you to choosing to publish OA?

First, thank you for inviting me to talk with you about our choice of an Open Access journal for this recent article of ours. This article was intentionally aimed at a global audience, with a particular desire for it to be widely available in low- and middle-income countries where the research was conducted; therefore, global equity of access was paramount. A second reason for choosing an OA journal for this article is that it was targeted to upper high school students, whose institutions do not typically have library subscriptions to academic journals. Allow me to explain why.

My lab’s research focuses on understanding 21st Century globalization as a new context for youth development globally; therefore, the world is our lab and our audience. Moreover, most of the world, called the Majority World in my field, lives in low- and middle-income countries where institutions are generally unable to afford costly university library subscriptions to academic journals published and marketed in high-income countries. I firmly believe that it is critical for researchers to find creative ways to give science away.

This new article from our team summarizes research findings on a new globalization-related phenomenon called “remote acculturation” that is impacting youth and families internationally. I pioneered theory and research on remote acculturation a decade ago and there has been a rapid accumulation of evidence from many countries since then. Much of the research conducted on remote acculturation to date has been done in low- and middle-income countries. Therefore, I wanted to ensure that this scientific knowledge would make its way back to youth in high schools and those entering college around the world (often times when young people hear about remote acculturation they react with excitement and relief at learning a term to describe an experience they have had but never had a name for).

Professor Ferguson's lab in a Zoom meeting

Professor Ferguson’s lab in a Zoom meeting

Why did you decide to publish in Online Readings in Psychology and Culture?

We wanted to give science away to teachers and students in high schools and other educational institutions around the world—we wanted anyone with an internet connection to be able to download, save, share, post, and enjoy learning about remote acculturation. This chosen journal is a product of the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology (IACCP), of which I am a member.IACCP is a professional society of cross-cultural psychologists spanning the globe.

What would you tell other researchers to encourage them to publish OA?

I would strongly encourage other researchers to include OA journals in their publication pipeline. Most of us become researchers and scientists because we want to generate knowledge and solutions that will eventually help real people in real communities—OA gives us a chance to do just that, rapidly, and cost-effectively. OA-published work can reach a much broader audience much faster, and consequently, have greater real-world impact than publishing in journals that require costly institutional subscriptions to which researchers in Majority World countries do not have access.

Two tips for those wanting to try OA publishing would be to write a summary article or meta-analysis of prior empirical studies for an OA journal—this can have real educational value for Majority World students and researchers.

I would also encourage other researchers to include OA journals in the corpus of scientific journals whose contents they monitor in order to read pieces of interest. In other words, do not discount research published in OA journals just because they are OA. Higher journal prestige and cost does not always mean higher quality science.

Have you been contacted by someone who read your article and wanted to collaborate?

Yes, as a matter of fact. Recently, I received an email from a colleague, who is a leader in my field saying “Wow! I finally had time to read the primer you shared with me. It is awesome! I love the format, the content, and the fact that..your students [are] co-authors. Congrats!” We then had zoom coffee and he proposed a collaboration.


Bakker, C. J., Langham-Putrow, A. A., & Riegelman, A. L. (2020). Is the Open Access Citation Advantage Real? A Systematic Review. Paper presented at Medical Library Association Annual Conference.

Eales, L., Gillespie, S., Eckerstorfer, S., Eltag, E. M., Group, G., & Ferguson, G. M. (2020). Remote Acculturation 101: A Primer on Research, Implications, and Illustrations from Classrooms Around the World. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 8(1).

Marsolek, Wanda; Cooper, Kristen; Riegelman, Amy L.; Farrell, Shannon L.; Kelly, Julia A.. (2020). Faculty Perceptions of Grey Literature: A Qualitative Analysis of Faculty Interviews. Grey Journal (TGJ), 16(3).. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,

Riegelman, A., Syed, M., & Cook, B. (2020, July 21). Preprints: Past, Pandemic, and Future. Virtual Panel.

Mark Engebretson

Author Mark Engebretson

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