“Open Access is a means of disseminating scholarly research that breaks from the traditional subscription model of academic publishing.” SPARC, Defining Open Access for Journals
Quite simply, Open Access publishing ensures that your work will not end up behind a paywall.
Watch the video below for a quick explanation about Open Access.
PhD Comics with Jorge Cham, Jonathan Eisen, and Nick Shockey, What is Open Access?
Why You Should Publish Openly
Work that is published openly is accessible to those around the world who may not be fortunate enough to have a subscription to a costly journal. Your work gets used, redistributed, and built upon, advancing the field.
Open Access Metrics
Often, Open Access journals, as well as Institutional Repositories, such as CORE Scholar, provide authors with hit and download counts, ensuring they can measure the impact of their work.
However, many authors are still concerned about publishing in journals with a high impact factor. Several open access journals have an impact factor.
A predatory publisher is a publisher who produces low quality academic journals. These journals are rarely peer-reviewed, and often charge the author a publication fee. The publisher works hard to dupe authors into publishing by emulating well-known publishers, lying about their credentials, and soliciting submissions with spam emails. Learn how to evaluate and identify predatory publishers using the criteria below.
Signs of a Predatory Publisher:
- Little or No Peer Review
- Fake Impact Factor
- Impact Factor can only be assigned by only one company (Thomson Reuters). An easy way to check if the Impact Factor is real is by searching the journal title in Journal Citation Reports.
- Fake ISSN
- Editors with no credentials or fake credentials (google the editors). Or no editors listed at all
- False indexing (Web of Science, Directory of Open Access Journals, etc.) claims
- Rapid acceptance (within 2 weeks)
- Call-for-papers email, a pre-acceptance email, and other “scammy” email
- Empty or dead links and spelling and grammar errors on the website
Evaluate the publisher website for the above signs, and check for any reviews from colleagues about the publisher or journal. When in doubt, contact your librarian!