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Open Access Publishing

Open Access Myths

  • Open access journals are of poorer quality than traditional subscription-based journals.
    • Studies show that Open Access journals can be of the same quality, or even higher quality, than some subscription journals.
    • The Directory of Open Access Journal's Seal of Quality certifies a list of over 1000 journals that have high publishing standards and adhere to publishing best practices.
    • With the increase in OA publication, additional ways of measuring quality, such as article-level metrics, are becoming more popular, and the more traditional journal impact factor continues to receive criticism from the scholarly community.
  • The peer-review process is not as rigorous in open access journals as it is for subscription journals.
  • Publishing my work open access is an altruistic thing to do, but there is no benefit for me.
    • Open Access publications do have economic and social benefits, but they also have academic benefits for individual authors.
    • Multiple studies have shown increases in article-level metrics for open access articles, such as citation count, article download, and share rate.
  • Publishing in a subscription journal closes the door on making the same work open access.
    • Authors can ask the journal they are publishing with to let them retain the right to post a version of their article in a subject or institutional repository.
    • ​Many journals have also developed policies which allow authors to make their work open access in a digital repository after a specified embargo period.
  • If I want to publish open access, I will have to pay the Author Processing Charges (APC's) myself.
    • Many open access journals are supported by society, or outside funders and do not charge any APC's. Check out the DOAJ's list of journals that do not charge APC's.
    • In addition, when APC's are required to publish in a journal, many institutions, including Jefferson, also offer financial assistance with APC's through open access funds. Grant funding can also often be used to pay journal APC's.
  • Publishing my article open access in a journal means that I will automatically comply with my funder’s OA policy.
    • Some funders, such as the NIH, require that authors submit articles that have been written with grant funds to their proprietary open access repository.​
  • Open access publications will not count towards promotion and tenure.
    • If an article is published in an open-access journal with a good reputation and peer review process, there is no good reason why it would not count for promotion or tenure. 
    • However, there is still much that P&T committees can do to fully support the open access movement and encourage faculty to submit to these publications.