There has been an increasing amount of interest among scientists and engineers - as well as Congress and policy makers - that research conducted using public funding should be made openly available to the public and no cost. Given the costs of many journals (and the business that has been built up around them) there are a number of prominent publications that have pushed back against the open publishing movement. Legislation of late is clearly pushing the U.S. government in the direction of open publishing. Space College supports these efforts insofar as they enhance citizen access to government funded research and the accomplishments of students associated with Space College.
There is one major pitfall to open publishing: journals that publish more or less anything that is submitted - often for a fee. This circumvents the time honored tradition of peer review of scientific data. For topics wherein rigorous review of data and hypotheses is not required, the scrutiny of published papers lessens somewhat. That said, self-publishing with no review can be detrimental to the distribution of accurate information. As such Space College will focus on support and promulgation of open publication of data by journals and websites where clear evidence of a review, acceptance/rejection process is in place. There are several watchdog websites online that track online and open journals and focus on these issues.
If you have any comments, suggestions, or ideas please use the comments feature to let us know.