Are Open Access Publications for Me?

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  Jun 30, 2016   Enago Academy
  : Journal Selection, Publication Stages

Open access publishing has grown tremendously in the past decade. Between 15-20 percent of journals are now published under the open access model. The majority of researchers are unaware of the extent of the strides in open access publishing.

Researchers have the option of showcasing their work in Open access journals or can contribute to Open Access Repositories/Archives. The factors influencing participation in the open access model can be broadly classified as:

  • Ease of access and reach of research: Usually, anybody with access to the World Wide Web will be able to access your research if you use the open access route. Whether readers will browse through your article depends on how well the journal is known and shows up in a search.
  • Profile and acceptability of chosen journal in your field: Whether an open access journal is highly rated in your field, to what extent publications will contribute to increased grant funding, help young faculty obtain tenure, or preferment for existing faculty.
  • If you choose to contribute raw or processed data, or pre-publication results, then you can choose an open access repository.
  • Whether you would like to use open access to claim priority on specific results: a pre-publication version of the article can be made instantly available to a large audience through an open access repository. This can help you preempt competitors in your field, and delay peer review until you submit to a journal.
  • Publication costs: Open access journals may sometimes impose higher publication charges than traditional journals. Depending on your research budget and the journal that you may want to publish in, this factor may be important.
  • Whether you would like to retain the copyright to your work or not restrict it.
  • The form in which you would like to preserve your work. Traditional journals typically have print versions, while this will usually not be the case for open access journals.

To locate open access journals in your field and beyond, you can browse the listing of over 5000 journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals.

There are several listings for repositories or archives, with a couple of prominent ones listed below. The Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR) has over 1600 listings, and the Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR) has a similar number.

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