Quality indicators for open access journals


Do you ever consider publishing in an open access journal? Publishing in open access journals is associated with many benefits. You research is freely available online for all, not just those with access to databases subscribed to by the library. You keep your rights to your work, get continually feedback via social media and your research is more visible and gets more impact.

The oa-journal landscape is complex as is the traditional journal landscape. There are plenty of oa-journals, many new titles emerge, and they all have their models for financing the journal. There are many oa-journals with high quality but there are also many unethical and unprofessional journals. However there are indicators to help you to choose among all the oa-journals. You find both positive and negative indicators listed below. If you still fell unsure contact us at the library!

Positive indicators:

  • Journal is indexed in subject specific databases
  • Scope of the journal is well-defined and clearly stated
  • Journal’s main target group is researchers
  • Editor and the editor board are well-known within the field
  • Journal is affiliated or sponsored by a well-known scholarly society or academic institution
  • Published articles are within the scope of the journal and meets the standards of the discipline
  • All fees and for publishing are easily found, and understood, on the journal’s home page
  • Articles have DOIA (digital object identifier: DOI: 10.1111/jonm.1227)
  • Journal clearly indicates rights for use and re-use of content on article level (e.g. CC BY license)
  • Journal has ISSN (International Standard Serial Number, e.g. 1402-151X)
  • Publisher is a member of OASPA
  • Journal is registered in UlrichsWeb (global serials directory) Outside of campus? Log in is needed)
  • Journal is listed in DOAJ

Negative indicators

  • Journal is not indexed in subject specific databases (it is not enough to be indexed in Google!)
  • Journal’s home page is difficult to find or identify
  • Publisher About information is inadequate or completely missing
  • Publisher direct marketing is obtrusive (spamming)
  • Information for authors is inadequate or not available
  • Information on peer review and copyright is inadequate, unclear or missing from the journal home page
  • Journal scope statement is missing or vague
  • Repeat lead authors in same issue
  • Publisher has a negative reputation (search information about the publisher/journal online)

Pieta Eklund

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About Forskningsrelaterat

Bibliotekarie och doktorand som tycker att bibliotekets forskarstöd är intressant, speciellt publiceringsstöd och open access. Skriver en avhandling om samarbete mellan bibliotekarier och forskare. Librarian and a PhD Student working with library research support with main focus on publishing support and open access. Writing a doctoral dissertation on collaboration between librarians and researchers.