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Open Access: Reliability

How to choose a reliable publication channel

The reliability of Open Access publication channels can be evaluated using the same criteria as for other scientific publication channels.

Characteristics of a good Open Access journal

  • Scope of the journal is well-defined and clearly stated
  • Journal's primary audience is researchers/practitioners
  • Editor, editorial board are recognized experts in the field
  • Journal is affiliated with or sponsored by an established scholarly society or academic institution
  • Articles are within the scope of the journal and meet the standards of the discipline
  • Any fees or charges for publishing in the journal are easily found on the journal web site and clearly explained
  • Articles have DOIs (Digital Object Identifier)
  • Journal clearly indicates rights for use and re-use of content at article level
  • Journal has an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number)
  • Publisher is a member of Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association
  • Journal is registered in UlrichsWeb, Global Serials Directory
  • Journal is listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Journal is included in subject databases and/or indexes.

Characteristics of a questionable Open Access journals

  • Journal web site is difficult to locate or identify
  • Publisher "About" information is absent on the journal's web site
  • Publisher direct marketing or other advertising is obtrusive
  • Instructions to authors information is not available
  • Information on peer review and copyright is absent or unclear on the journal web site
  • Journal scope statement is absent or extremely vague
  • No information is provided about the publisher, or the information provided does not clearly indicate a relationship to a mission to disseminate research content
  • Repeat lead authors in same issue
  • Publisher has a negative reputation.

Source: The listing of Open Access Journal Quality Indicators was developed by the Grand Valley State University Libraries, and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

See also Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing by Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA).

Notice when you are choosing a publication channel: Journals

Notice when you are choosing a publication channel: Books

Tools for choosing a journal

Tool Description
Finnish Publication Channel Forum Publication Channel Forum level (jufo level) of journals, publication series, conferences and publishers.
Journal Citation Reports (JCR) Web of Science database's journal list, journal impact factors.
Scopus Journal Analyzer (SJA) Scopus database's journal list, also includes conference data. Journal and conference impact numbers.
Scimago Journal & Country Rank (SJR) Journal impact numbers.
CWTS Journal Indicators Journal catalog based on Scopus database made by Leiden University, also includes journal impact numbers.
Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) Open Access journal directory. See also Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.
Directory of Open Access Scholarly Resources (ROAD) List of journals, series, conference proceedings with ISSN.
Sherpa/RoMEO Self-archiving policies of journals and publishers.
Think. Check. Submit Site that acts as a checklist, for finding a reliable publication channel (journals and books/chapters).
Think. Check. Attend Site that acts as a checklist, for conferences.
Cofactor Journal Selector Tool Tool for finding suitable scientific journals for your own article.
Cabells For evaluation of journal reliability. Consists of Journalytics (previously Journal Whitelist) and Predatory Reports (previously Journal Blacklist)

Further reading about quality of Open Access journals


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