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Evaluating OA Journals

OA Journal Quality

Open Access (OA) journals are sometimes assumed to be of lower quality than traditional, subscription-based publications. While this is, as a rule, not true, there are some "predatory" publishers that seek to exploit the OA business model by collecting processing charges from authors without providing the editorial and publishing services associated with more established and legitimate journals.

According to Wikipedia, characteristics of predatory publishing include: 

  • Accepting articles quickly with little or no peer review or quality control, including hoax and nonsensical papers.
  • Notifying academics of article fees only after papers are accepted.
  • Aggressively campaigning for academics to submit articles or serve on editorial boards.
  • Listing academics as members of editorial boards without their permission, and not allowing academics to resign from editorial boards.
  • Appointing fake academics to editorial boards.
  • Mimicking the name or web style of more established journals.

If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a journal that you are considering publishing in, consult the resources listed to the left, or contact your liaison librarian, for further help.

Types of OA Journals

There are three basic models of OA publishing:

Green OA --  author publishes in any type of journal and self-archives a pre- or post-print version for free public use in an institutional repository or other open access website.
Gold OA -- author publishes in an OA journal which provides immediate open access to all of their articles; Gold OA journals may or may not charge an author fee to offset the lack of subscription revenue.
Hybrid OA -- author pays a traditional subscription journal a publishing fee to provide gold open access for an individual article.
For a good overview of open access publishing, see Charles W. Bailey, Jr.'s What is Open Access?