How to Verify the Open Access Status and Quality of a Journal? - Amnet EnableOA >

How to Verify the Open Access Status and Quality of a Journal?

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Academic publishing is important to the career of a researcher. Grants, funds, and opportunities greatly depend on a researcher’s research publications and their impacts. This puts pressure on scholars to publish their research, which predatory journals use to their advantage.

Predatory journals

Predatory journals lure authors to submit their manuscripts and make them pay and then publish their paper, but still skipping over the services they had promised. They disguise themselves as open access (OA) publishers but work on a pay-to-publish model that is deleterious to scholarly communication. The research does not undergo proper peer review or quality checks. The publication is no better than a post on social media and is unlikely to get citations. Predatory journals are money-minded and often have names similar to a reputed journal. They send personalized mass emails requesting authors to submit their papers, and authors can fall into their trap, if they do not verify the journal properly.

How to verify OA journals?

A good open access journal has

  • a unique name
  • a well-defined subject area stated on the website
  • researchers and faculty as its targets
  • a good editorial board with renowned researchers in the field
  • affiliation with or sponsorship from a scientific institute or society
  • a clear description of the peer-review process
  • articles of high standards that are relevant to their subject area with DOIs (digital object identifiers)
  • all OA fees, copyrights, and licenses are transparently available

It is good to talk to your colleagues about the reputation and acceptance rate of the journal before submission. Check for conflicts of interest, the revenue sources, archiving plan, and ownership and management. Verify the profiles of the editorial team on other platforms.

Besides these indicators, one can check the following:

  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) indexes peer-reviewed OA journals
  • Journal impact factor, journal citation reports (JCR), SciMago, Web of Science, and Scopus list journals with impact factors, categories, or ranks
  • Quality Open Access Market (QOAM) provides scorecards for the quality of journals
  • Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory provides history, publisher information, open access status, and which databases index the journal
  • Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) lists journals that commit to publication ethics
  • Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) is an OA publishers’ forum whose membership or adherence indicates publisher quality.

If the journal is not in a list, it simply indicates that you need to research further and not assume that it is predatory. There are a lot of matching tools that can help you find a journal that matches your manuscript.

Predatory publishing ruins the reputation of OA publishing. They cannot be compared with OA publishing quality. We must educate ourselves about these OA myths and doubts and choose the right OA journal wisely.

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