What is Open
- Harvard Scholar, Peter Suber
defines Open-Access (OA) literature as digital, online, free of charge
and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. (this is made
possible by the article being made freely available on the internet and the
consent of the author or copyright holder.)
- The Public Library of Online
Science (PLOS) defines Open Access as unrestricted access and
is it? A guide for evaluating the openness of journals.
- From SPARC (the
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition).
- This guide provides a means to
identify the core components of OA and how they are implemented across the
spectrum between Open Access and Closed Access.
Why Open Access vs. the
traditional publishing model?
- Most publishers own the rights
to the articles in their journals, so readers must pay to access them.
Permission to use the article in anyway must be obtained from the publisher and
usually involves an additional fee.
- Even though access to the
journals at the School of Medicine appears to be free from the library website,
the truth is, most of them are not. The library usually does extensive
negotiating with publishers to obtain site licenses to online journals for our
campuses, and these licenses can be very expensive.
What are the benefits of Open
- Accelerated Discovery. With
open access, researchers can read and build on the findings of others without
restriction. (Meaning you dont have to ask for permission to use
its unrestricted access and unrestricted use).
- Public Enrichment. Much
scientific and medical research is paid for with public funds. Open Access
allows taxpayers to see the results of their investment.
- Improved Education. Open
Access means that teachers and their students have access to the latest
research findings throughout the world.
Is Open Access free?
- OA literature is not free to
produce, but it is sometimes less expensive than conventionally published
literature. One of the goals of OA is not to make scholarly literature
costless, but to find a way to shift costs from readers which results in access
- Generally, the cost is paid
for by the author, the author's institution, or the author's grant funding
How is OA delivered?
- Green OA - The author and
publisher negotiate to allow a version of the article made publicly available
through a personal archive, website or institutional repository.
- Hybrid Model Pay
to Publish An article from a subscription journal becomes Open Access by
a payment of a publication fee.
- Gold OA Open access literature is online,
free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
- NIH Mandate Will become
uploaded into PubMed Central system 12 months after publication.
- SPARC (the Scholarly
Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) provides an
addendum that can help secure your rights as the author of an article.
Predatory Open Access Publishing?
Predatory publishers share
- They engage in questionable
business practices, such as charging excessive author fees or failing to
disclose publication fees to potential authors.
- They fail to follow accepted
standards of scholarly publishing, particularly in regards to peer
- They exist to make money by
taking advantage of the "author-pays model" of open access journal publishing,*
and have no interest in promoting scholarship or advancing
bodies to publish articles open access is a model used by many reputable
journal publishers and is not the single factor used to determine if a journal
should be considered "predatory." For further information, please review
of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing by the Open
Access Scholarly Publishers Association. Other
collaborators in providing transparency and best practice in scholarly
interview with The Chronicle of Higher Education,
Prof. Jeffrey Beall describes the phenomenon this way:
"Predatory open-access publishers are those that unprofessionally
exploit the gold open-access model for their own profit. That is to say, they
operate as scholarly vanity presses and publish articles in exchange for the
author fee. They are characterized by various level of deception and lack of
transparency in their operations. For example, some publishers may misrepresent
their location, stating New York instead of Nigeria, or they may claim a
stringent peer-review where none really exists."
Predatory publishers may also
claim to be included in directories and indexes when they are not and include
faculty on their editorial boards who have not agreed to serve.
Predatory publishers began
profilerating in the past few years with the increase in open access
publishing, and we are now also seeing an increase in predatory conferences,
some which choose a name nearly identical to an established, well-respected
Blacklist notes journals identified as engaging in deceptive, fraudulent,
and/or predatory practices.
Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the
University of Colorado Denver, had compiled lists of "potential, possible, or
probable predatory" journals and publishers. As of January 2017 the list is no
longer updated, but thanks to the Internet Archive his work can still be viewed
thanks to the snapshot. More details on the end of the list can be read at
How Do I Avoid
Contact your department's
Library Liaison for a second
(or first) opinion about the authenticity of a publisher or journal. We're
happy to help faculty, students and staff identify reliable, quality scholarly
Think, Check, Submit!
- There are reputable journals
that are completely open or have open access options. But there are other
journals you should avoid. Choose carefully.
- Think before submitting your
manuscript to an unfamiliar journal - - publishing in a predatory journal may
damage your reputation and/or weaken your promotion and tenure
Use the following checklist,
provided by Declan Butler in Nature, as a guide for assessing publishers and
to perform due diligence before submitting to a journal or
- Check that the publisher
provides full, verifiable contact information, including address, on the
journal site. Be cautious of those that provide only web contact
- Check that a journal's
editorial board lists recognized experts with full affiliations. Contact some
of them and ask about their experience with the journal or
- Check that the journal
prominently displays its policy for author fees.
- Be wary of e-mail invitations
to submit to journals or to become editorial board members.
- Read some of the journal's
published articles and assess their quality. Contact past authors to ask about
- Check that a journal's
peer-review process is clearly described and try to confirm that a claimed
impact factor is correct.
- Find out whether the journal
is a member of an industry association that vets its members, such as the
Directory of Open Access Journals (www.doaj.org) or the Open Access Scholarly
Publishers Association (www.oaspa.org).
[Some questionable journals appear in directories such as DOAJ and Cabell's; we
don't advise using this as your sole criteria.]
- Use common sense, as you would
when shopping online: if something looks fishy, proceed with
How Do I Choose
the Right Journal?
Not sure where to publish or what
journals are available in your field? Interested in publishing across multiple
disciplines? Check out Ulrichsweb, a global serials directory, which lists over
300,000 publications worldwide.
Ulrichsweb (Global Serials Directory)
- Ulrichsweb.com is an
authoritative knowledgebase of information about more than 300,000 serials of
all types from around the world -- academic and scholarly journals,
peer-reviewed titles, online publications, newspapers and other
If the icon is not
present, the journal is not peer-reviewed. "As used in the Ulrich's
knowledgebase, the term refereed is applied to a journal that has been
peer-reviewed. Refereed serials include articles that have been reviewed by
experts and respected researchers in specific fields of study including the
sciences, technology, the social sciences, and arts and humanities."
Periodical Directory) may be used to identify "scholarly" journals. The icon of
the referee's shirt indicates that the journal is peer-reviewed.
||If the title is
academic/scholarly, the Basic Description section will include a line that
says: "Content Type: Academic/Scholarly"
You can see if the
journal is indexed in MEDLINE, Web of Science, or other legitimate indexing and
abstracting services by looking in the Abstracting & Indexing
Click on "Search for Full Text" located to the far right of the
journal title to see if the libraries have a subscription to that journal.
Use "JCR Web" to check for an impact factor of the journal.
Journal Citation Reports
can access Journal Citation Reports (JCR), a product of Thomson Reuters,via
Web of Science (look for the link
at the top of the
page). Published annually, JCR provides a number of journal impact measurements
for journals in the sciences and social sciences. Reported metrics include
Impact Factor, 5-year Impact Factor, Immediacy Index, and others. Since 2007,
JCR has also included Eigenfactor Metrics. Learn
Citation Reports Training Videos and Quick Reference Cards
and information sheets - both available in multiple languages. There is also a
link to live and recorded trainings.
Journal/Author Name Estimator (JANE)
- This service originates in the
Netherlands, is free, and is funded by the
Netherlands Bioinformatics Center
- It is limited to journals
included in Medline, a database published by the U.S. National Library of
- Authors enter the title
and/or abstract of their paper in a box, and click on 'Find journals', 'Find
authors' or 'Find Articles'. JANE will then compare the document to millions of
documents in Medline to find the best matching journals, authors or
- JANE uses the Article
Influence (AI) score that measures how often articles in the journal are cited
within the first five years after its publication. These citations are weighted
based the influence of the journals from which citations are received: being
cited in an article in Science can boost a journal's AI more than being cited
in an article in an obscure journal. For more detailed information, see the
- Edanz Group, a Beijing-based company that
provides English language editing and support services for the worldwide
scientific community, has launched a free, online tool aimed at helping
scientists and academic researchers find the most appropriate outlets for their
- The selector tool works by
comparing the authors abstract, or short article description, with
keywords from abstracts from a database of more than 28,000 journal
- Results are ranked by
relevance, or an author can choose to filter and refine the results by
Reuters Impact Factor (JCR), by preference for Open Access, or by frequency
For more information about impact factors, see
Measuring Your Research Impact