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Open Access Publishing for USUHS Faculty and Researchers: Open Access: Where to Publish

Open Access: Where to Publish

When selecting where to publish a manuscript, authors may turn to tools such as Journal Citation Reports, personal experience, or the recommendation of colleagues. When searching for an 'open access' title to publish in, however, other tools may be useful

Evaluation Criteria Checklists

Access Fees

Journals by Subject

Open Access Associations

Red Flags: Predatory Open Access Journals

While there are many high-quality open access (OA) journals which engage in peer review, have excellent editorial teams, and clear codes of ethics and conflict of interest guidelines, there are entities that provide open access in exchange for submission fees and serve as little more than vanity presses and purveyors of poor-quality scholarship and even pseudo-science.

When considering whether to publish in an OA journal, authors should consider a few factors.

Green Light -

  • The journal is listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals.
  • You are familiar with the title as one frequently cited in your field.
  • The journal is indexed by high-quality and trusted bibliographic databases relevant to your discipline, such as Medline for biomedical researchers.

Red Light -

  • Peer Review: Is the quality of the journal's peer review process sub-par? Does the journal provide "streamlined" processing, bypassing peer-review?
  • Editorial Staff: Are the listed editors recognized as experts in their discipline? Are they real people and are aware they are listed as editors? What is their level of involvement in the editorial process?
  • Contact Information: Does the journal provide clear information on where they are located (e.g. a verifiable address), and how they may be contacted? Are the e-mail addresses linked to the journal name or an institution?
  • Solicitation of Authors: Do you have a past affiliation with the journal or its editors? Does the journal promise "too good to be true" publication offers (e.g. guaranteed publishing, super-speedy peer review)?
  • Article Retraction Policy: Does the journal have clear guidelines for the retraction of articles that may have inaccurate information?
  • Quality of Articles: Review recent papers published in the journal. Do they meet the standards of a journal you would want to be published in? Do the articles align with the stated scope of the journal? Is the journal a "hodge podge" of unrelated topics?


Green & Gold: What's the difference?

You may have heard the terms "Green" and "Gold" applied to Open Access, but what's the difference?

With Gold Open Access, journals provide Open Access to the article, either because the entire journal is Open Access or because the journal provides an Open Access option for authors (who generally pay a fee for the processing of their article). Gold OA journals conduct peer review.

With Green Open Access, the authors provide Open Access to the article, often by taking advantage of an Open Access repository, such as PubMed Central or an Institutional Repository.

Going Green: Placing content in an Open Access Repository

Many journals, even those that are subscription-based or charge access fees, will permit an author to self-archive their research paper (or a last draft of their paper) with an Open Access repository such as PubMed Central or their local institutional repository.

You may check the publisher's website for their guidelines. Another excellent resource, however, is SHERPA/RoMEO.


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