Open access journals are scholarly journals accessible online by readers without having to pay a fee. These journals claim that they have no charges, and their free access garners more citations than closed access journals. This helps authors and their work receive much-needed recognition.
Types of Open Access Journals
Open access journals are of various types. Some journals collect a publishing fee from the authors, while others charge a nominal fee from the readers or are free. The two most popular kinds are gold and green open access. A green open access or self-archiving journal is one where the author deposits articles in an institutional repository or a subject repository. Conversely, a gold open access journal asks authors to pay a publication/processing fee to render their article free to view.
There are a few subscription based journals that offer open access option to authors, such journals are known as hybrid open access journals . These hybrid open access journals offer authors open access on payment of open access publication fee. Advocates say that this model is better than the pure subscription-based model, which attracts hefty subscription fees from libraries and individuals.
Compromise in Quality
There is an ongoing debate regarding the quality of open access journals; mainly because no recognised names are associated with them. Besides, it is argued that often papers in open access journals do not undergo the rigorous peer review process conventionally followed by traditional journals. This could lead to compromise in the quality of the papers published. Regardless, open access journals are thriving and are perceived to be the future of journal publishing. A broad range of journals and the option for crowd-sourced peer reviews offer a chance for faster publication and a potentially unlimited readership.
Visibility with Ease
Scholars are now increasingly interested in publishing in open access journals for the ease in publishing and the visibility that comes with them. Before the arrival of open access journals, researchers had to pay a huge amount to get their papers published. In that scenario, researchers who were funded by their institutes faced no problems, but others had a difficult time getting their papers published. Open access journals have given the latter group a viable option to publish their work without having to worry about funds.
Predatory Publishing and Open Access journal
However, open access has brought with it the undesirable practice of predatory publishing. Some journals focus on making money rather than publishing work having substantial significance in a particular research field. They publish plagiarised articles, compel authors to sign copyright forms, and do not mention the fee payable until after publication. This is known as predatory publishing. If the publisher’s website shows a multitude of journals containing very few or no papers at all, you probably need to look elsewhere to get your paper published, as these journals may be predatory journals.
Therefore, experts suggest that you must carefully examine the journal before getting your paper published. Read previous articles published in the journal to get a quick and fair idea about the standard of the journal and then decide on submitting your paper to that journal.
There are two ways of looking at publishing. Those who publish their papers in journals having both subscription and open access models give the impression to their employers that they prefer well-known publishers. However, those who publish their papers in pure open access journals are in a position to say, ‘Judge my science on the science.’
All things considered, the open access model is a great way for researchers to publish their papers and catch the attention of potential employers. Besides, their work gains them recognition in the academic fraternity. It is an easy option to get a paper published quickly with little or no expense, and simultaneously attract many eyeballs in the research community towards their work.