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Cornell University

Open Access Publishing : Vetting OA journals

This guide provides guidance in open access scholarly publishing for researchers in all disciplines.

Criteria to consider

Before deciding to publish in a new OA journal, consider the following:

  • Whether the journal listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals. Journals indexed in DOAJ after March 2014 (noted with a green check mark or "DOAJ Seal"), underwent a more stringent review process than journals indexed prior to that date.
  • Whether the journal is indexed in an established and reputable database such as Web of Knowledge, Ulrich's, or Sociological Abstracts, or others that you may use in your own research.
  • Examine the journal's website for such information as affiliation with a university or professional organization, editorial board credentials, or acceptance rates. If you have doubts, contact members of the editorial board or article authors.
  • Publishing fees and copyright ownership should be clearly indicated. For more information about your rights as an author, see the Know your copyrights tab.
  • Whether the publisher is a member of a reputable industry organization such as Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association or the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
  • ThinkCheckSubmit, produced with the support of a coalition from across scholarly communications in response to discussions about deceptive publishing, walks you through the process of evaluating journals.

Adapted from Paul Blobaum's Checklist for Review of Journal Quality, Governor's State University

Ethics in OA Publishing

With the advent of open access publishing, printing barriers are removed and the assembly and dissemination of information requires little more than Internet access. Unfortunately, this has led to a proliferation of open access publishers with little or no subject expertise and of questionable repute. Scholars and researchers may receive email solicitations for fee-based paper submissions to journals that make false or misleading claims about the stringency of their peer-review process, members of their editorial board or indexing status.​

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