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“Paging Dr. Fraud”: The Fake Publishers That Are Ruining Science

Max Planck and Taylor & Francis Group sign open access agreement

The Max Planck Digital Library and Taylor & Francis Group have signed an agreement which enables researchers based in Max Planck institutes to publish open access in 2,390 journals, under a centrally funded arrangement. This applies to peer-reviewed papers in full and hybrid Taylor & Francis Group journals, including Routledge and Cogent OA titles.

The agreement offers an increase in open access publishing options for Max Planck researchers, with Taylor & Francis’ portfolio of titles stretching across the sciences, medicine, social sciences and humanities. All corresponding authors based at a Max Planck Institute will now be eligible to have their manuscript published gold open access under a CC BY license.  Read more…


Ralf Schimmer’sblog“Making the moves for large scale transition toward Open Access” makesthe case to achieve such a transition by means of offsetting deals. The urgency for such atransition is emphasized by the recently announced ambition of the EU to have “Open Access toscientific publications as the best option by default by 2020”i. This should be done “in a cost-effective way, without embargoes, or with as short as possible embargoes”. In this blog, we explore and analyse the scenario whereby this transition will be brought aboutby successful offsetting deals, meaning that ultimately all articles in the hybrid journals willbecome Open Access by changing the business models of these journals into APC-based OpenAccess journals. Success means also that the offsetting de
als will be transformed in pay-as-you-publish pre-finance-agreements. What effect would such a success have on the scholarly journalsystem. How would it look like in terms of numbers and type of journals? Which preconditionsand drivers would be needed to
achieve such a success? And finally, we speculate about possiblenext steps and their cost-
effectiveness. Read more…

Libraries and Open Journal Systems: Hosting and facilitating the creation of Open Access scholarship

There is a growing availability of free tools and software for academic publishing. How might libraries leverage existing platforms? Anna R. Craft describes one experience of an academic library hosting locally-produced open access journals through Open Journals Systems (OJS). But even “free” software is not without costs in relation to time and expertise. Care should be taken in facilitating a supportive environment to meet an institution’s journal-hosting needs.  Read more…

Are there alternatives to traditional academic publishing models ? #OA

As shown by the myriad of events highlighted during International Open Access Week, the amount of talk and initiatives regarding open science and the transition toward an open access model for scholarly communications is growing at a remarkable pace. Advocates around the world are doing an amazing job at spreading the OA gospel!

Endeavours for the advancement of open access, however, are often met with concerns from paid scientific journals regarding the economic consequences of such a model. This past month, a couple of studies addressing these issues were released. Read more…

How to switch quickly to diamond open access: The best journals are free for authors and readers

Posted on by Martin Haspelmath

The conventional wisdom among experts is that open access (OA) publication is better in all respects: Publications are not hidden behind paywalls, authors get more citations for their work, and results of publicly funded research are available to the public. This has been widely known for over 12 years, but not much has been happening. Some actors are frustrated, such as Ralf Schimmer, vice-director of the Max Planck Society’s MPDL: He notes that despite all the pro-OA activities at universities and science organizations, the open access movement is stagnating. While one sixth of all publications is open access by open access, the clear majority for subscription seems to be stable.

What explains this strange stability, which defies the politicians’ hopes and the experts’ recommendations? The OA experts do not seem to be interested in finding out.

But the explanation is easy: The main actors are not suffering, so they have no particular incentive to change it. Publishers make good profits with their subscription model, and scientists depend on the publishers for their careers, because the publishers own the prestigious labels. The scientists know that open access is better in principle, but their careers (and funding prospects) are more important, and they manage to access the most relevant research via para-publication channels (personal connections, Academia.edu, etc.). Read more…

Author processing charges – greater visibility to APCs: amount, currency, URL

This was posted by DOAJ on 10/02/2015 but the data is still relevant. There has been a lot of focus in research on author processing charges (APCs) and submission charges, and DOAJ data is often used as a basis of that research. Heather Morrison’s recent article in Publications and Walt Crawford’s research published in Cites and Insights are two very recent examples.

DOAJ wants to raise the visibility of charges information even further to facilitate future research and to make it easier for authors, researchers and funders to make informed decisions on where to publish. Read more…

The presence of High-impact factor Open Access Journals in Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine (STEM) disciplines

The present study means to establish to what extent high-quality open access journals are available as an outlet for publication, by examining their distribution in different scientific disciplines, including the distribution of those journals without article processing charges. The study is based on a systematic comparison between the journals included in the DOAJ, and the journals indexed in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) Science edition 2013, released by Thomson Reuters.

The impact factor of Open Access (OA) journals was lower than those of other journals by a small but statistically significant amount. Open access journals are present in the upper quartile (by impact factor) of 85 out of 176 (48.8%) categories examined. There were no OA journals with an Impact Factor in only 16 categories (9%). Read more…

Open Access Heatmap 2015

Do you need a map to determine how many open access journals are around the world?  Then use Ulrich Herbs’ latest Heatmap 2015

“I calculated the number of Open Access Journals per country as listed by the DOAJ (this quite trivial data can be downloaded as a CSV file here). Using this CSV file with the online service CartoDB I produced the following heatmap visualizing the number of Open Access Journals per country. Please note that the map is generated by CartoDB and that CartoDB’s terms of use and terms of service apply.” Read more…

The Dangers of Open Access – Predatory Publishing and Open Access – a Researcher’s View by Edward Randviir

In this post, Edward Randviir from the Faculty of Science and Engineering cautions colleagues against a rise in predatory publishing practices as a result of the Open Access agenda.

Open Access (OA) is defined as the unrestricted online access to research, and encompasses journal articles, conference proceedings, chapters, monographs, posters, and now datasets. The immediately obvious benefits include enhanced visibility of research and improved chances of author citations, potentially leading to higher societal impact. HEFCE’s Open Access in the post-REF2014 policy states that universities should make any articles and conference proceedings with an ISSN available through an OA route within 3 months of acceptance to be eligible for submission to the next Research Excellence Framework. The University has established Symplectic, as the research information management system that will enable compliance with the OA agenda for staff.

A danger with OA is the plague of predatory OA publishers that have emerged in the past five years. A predatory publisher is one that offers OA publishing, for huge nominal fees that are often undisclosed when they invite academics to write for them, often without providing proper editorial and publishing services. This means that final versions appearing online are incorrect, not proofed properly, and in the majority of cases not even peer reviewed – and whether we like it or not, the peer review process improves the quality of published work and filters out the papers that may not be up to scratch. This also extends to conference proceedings. Read more…

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