The first consideration should be to look at the pros and cons of open-access publishing unique to your situation. If you decide to publish in an open-access journal, you should be aware of the following:

You can locate the appropriate journal by consulting your peers or by browsing through the Directory of Open Access Journals, or similar listings.

Open Access does not imply that there are no publication charges for the author, though this is true in some of the cases. In some instances, the publication charges can be significantly more than traditional journals. Even when journals charge for publishing, you could request the charges to be waived citing special circumstances.

Once the journal is chosen, prepare the article in the format suitable for the journal. The fact that you are able to upload your article directly and have it visible to the world instantly (“gold” open-access journals) should motivate you to self-review the article in an even more stringent manner.

Keep in mind that peer review will be performed at some point in the future.

There are new models of open-access journals like overlay journals which accept preprints from archives, interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary journals which venture into areas at the interface of more than one subject area, and different level journals which are composed of different tiers within a topic.

Usually, you will be able to retain copyright on your article.

Everyone may not have access to your article. There may be barriers resulting from connectivity, language and filtering.

An example of popular open-access journals published in the fields of medical research and biology is BioMedCentral. Another example is J-STAGE: Japan Science and Technology Information Aggregator, Electronic, an online collection of over 600 journals.

It should be emphasized that open-access journals are distinct from open-access repositories or archives. This will be discussed in detail in the next post.

This post was written by William Stevenson, an English editor with Enago based out of the USA.