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Open Access

Do all Open Access journals operate a pay-to-publish model?

Charging authors publication fees is the best known business model for open access journals but is actually not the most common. Studies have shown that two-thirds of all peer-reviewed journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals do not charge publishing fees. Equally a large number of traditional for-profit journals do charge author publishing fees on top of reader subscriptions.

What are predatory journals and how do I find reputable Open Access publishers?

The phrase 'predatory journal' is a somewhat contested and contentious one, but put simply:

Predatory journals refer to deceptive publishers who take advantage of Open Access publishing models to solicit manuscripts and charge author publication fees without providing the editorial support or robust peer-review that authors are led to expect. Often these publishers make misleading promises of peer review and deceptive statements about their impact factor and editorial team.

The Directory of Open Access Journals lists 12,000 Open Access journals and can be viewed as a 'whitelist' for reputable publications. All of the journals listed are checked for meeting DOAJ's publishing best practices and transparency.

Are open access journals peer-reviewed?

Most Open Access journals have similar peer-review processes to traditionally published journals. Remember, the goal of the Open Access movement is to remove access barriers, not quality filters.

The Directory of Open Access Journals lists over 12,000 Open journals all of which must meet it's quality control criteria to "exercise peer-review with an editor and an editorial board or editorial review (particularly in the Humanities) carried out by at least two editors."

Will Open Access limit my citation count?

Put simply, no! Most studies actually show that publishing Open Access increases your citation count.

In 2016, SPARC Europe conducted a literature review of studies on Open Access citations - 46 out of 70 studies show a citation advantage for Open Access papers.

A large scale literature review from 2018 found that Open Access papers receive 18% more citations on average.

What's the difference between Open Education Resources and Open Access?

Open Access and OER are related - yet distinct - concepts. Open Access generally refers to research outputs that are released under an open license. Open Education Resources are teaching and learning materials released under such a license. Obviously in higher education there is a clear overlap as research publications are often an integral part of the learning materials students encounter in many courses. Be sure to check out our guide to Open Education Resources.

Where can I find more information and support for Open Access Publishing?

There are many organizations that provide information and support for authors wishing to explore and pursue Open Access publishing.

For introductions to Open Access check out:

For more detailed readings check out our extensive Open Access bibliography (coming soon!).