Quality issues concerning open access journals

When choosing a scientific open access journal to publish in, a researcher is chiefly guided by the quality of the journal. To assess the quality of an open access journal, researchers may consider the following points:

Is the journal listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals?

Peer review is at the basis of quality assurance of scholarly journals. All journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) exercise a form of peer-review or editorial quality control to guarantee the content. DOAJ launched in 2014 the DOAJ Seal. Journals can apply for this seal using the Journal Application Form. 

Is the journal listed in Web of Science?

Open access journals with an impact factor are covered by Web of Science and Scopus.

Very often open access journals are young journals and therefore don't have an impact factor yet. Because of that, initiatives have recently been started to develop other quality criteria for open access journals.

Quality Open Access Market

Look at Quality Open Access Market (QOAM), which stresses transparency of the peer review process as an important criterion.  With these cards  libraries provide an opinion on the transparency of the websites of open access and hybrid journals. Additionally QOAM also publishes Valuation Scorecards, which allows authors to share their experiences with scientific journals. QOAM contains 23.000 journals and 7.300 Basic Score Cards and 2600 Valuated Score cards as of October 2016.

More information about Qoam in the Frequently Asked Questions.

Think Check Submit

Think Check Submit is a fairly new campaign website to help researchers identify trusted journals for their research. It is a simple checklist researchers can use to assess the credentials of a journal or publisher.

Open access publishers with a dubious reputation

Some 'publishers' and journals have attempted to exploit the business model of open access publishing by charging large fees to authors without providing the proper editorial and publishing services associated with more established and legitimate journals. Until January 16 the list was available at the blog of Jeffrey Beall, who has been curating this for years. The blog has been removed and the list of these so called predatory publishers can only be accessed as web archive. Note: this list will not be updated anymore. We advise to avoid these 'publishers' at all times.

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Dutch National website providing information for academics about the advantages of open access to publicly financed research

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