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        What Is an Open Access Journal? 10 Myths Busted!

        • calenderApr 12, 2024
        • calender 5 min read

        One of the coolest developments in this ever-evolving world is the rise of open-access journals. But hold up—what exactly are these open-access journals, and why should they matter to all you students, professors, and researchers out there?

        Buckle up as we dive into the fascinating realm of open-access publishing, uncovering the myths of open-access publishing and shedding light on the costs involved in this innovative model! 

        Want a precisely edited journal article? We can help!

        Let’s start by understanding what does an open-access journal means:

        What is an open-access journal?

        An open-access journal is a type of scholarly journal that makes all its content freely available to readers without any subscription fees. This model allows anyone with internet access to read, download, and distribute the published research without financial, legal, or technical barriers, apart from those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself.

        The philosophy behind open-access

        The big idea behind open-access journals is all about spreading knowledge far and wide, making sure everyone has access to the latest research. This idea goes along with the big aim of pushing science and education forward by spreading information to more people and getting everyone involved in research.

        Gold open-access journals: the gold standard?

        When discussing open access, you may come across the term “gold open-access journal.” What is a gold open-access journal, exactly? Well, gold open-access journals are the journals where the articles are available for free right away. The author, their school, or a sponsor usually pays for this. These journals guarantee that their articles are always free to read and go through the same tough review process as regular journals.

        Open-access journal cost: who pays?

        One of the most debated aspects of open access is the open access journal cost. Traditionally, the reader or the reader’s institution would pay to access journal content. However, open-access journals often shift the cost burden to the authors, who may have to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) upon acceptance of their work. This fee covers the costs of the journal article editing process, peer review, and the technology needed to host and disseminate the articles.

        The spectrum of open-access journals

        Hybrid open-access journals

        A hybrid open-access journal offers authors the choice to make their journal articles open-access in an otherwise subscription-based journal. This model provides flexibility, allowing authors to comply with open access mandates from funders or institutions when required or choose traditional publishing otherwise.

        Specialized open-access journals

        The open-access model extends across disciplines, from the Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine to the Open Access Journal of Clinical Trials. Each specialized journal serves the particular needs of its research community, offering tailored platforms for sharing findings. For example, the IEEE Open Access Journal of Power and Energy provides a forum for cutting-edge research in electrical engineering.

        The arts and humanities also benefit from this model, with publications like the Arts and Humanities Open Access Journal making cultural and literary research available to a broader audience. Meanwhile, an open-access philosophy journal can facilitate discussions on metaphysics, research ethics, and other philosophical inquiries without the barrier of subscription fees.

        How to start an open-access journal?

        If you’re thinking about starting your own open-access journal, there are a few things you’ll need to do. First, you’ll need to put together an editing team to oversee things, then set up a system for reviewing submissions and proofreading the journal articles. It’s also important to choose a sustainable financial model. Building a reputation and attracting high-quality submissions takes time, but the result can be a reputable platform for sharing academic resources.

        Ten common myths about open access journals: busted!

        Myth #1: Publishing my article in an elite journal is sufficient to increase readership and citation counts.

        Busted: Every year, millions of authors use recognized open-access journals to cite previously published articles and to publish their articles anticipating increased readership nationwide.

        But the fact is, a well-written research article including concise descriptions, authentic discussions, coherent conclusions, and accurate research metrics can eventually reach the target readers irrespective of the journal’s fame. So, centering on good research content is ideal for increasing readership, and remember, it doesn’t necessarily depend on top-tier journals. 

        Myth #2: Publishers add no or little value to the open-access systems.

        Busted: It’s a myth that publishers add no value to the journal publishing process. But the truth is, that scholarly publishing is a complicated process, and publishers lie at the core of the peer-review process and its management workflow. 

        Since the peer-review process deals with numerous stages viz. proofreading, copy-editing, article linking, typesetting services, etc., Every phase has its own challenges and limitations (majorly time-taking and inducing high production costs) that publishers need to manage. So, publishers are responsible for the effective management of journal publications both financially and technically.

        Myth #3: Case reports have no value.

        Busted: Most of the original research is based on case reports and case series findings. It is an utter misconception that there is no value for case reports. If you have a clinically relevant unique case report that is unpublished, you can publish it for sure. That way, you are introducing a new concept to the respective industry.

        Myth #4: One should give up on publication after manuscript rejection.

        Busted: One should never give up on the publishing desire at the cost of manuscript rejection. There are multiple reasons to reject the manuscript. And, it is solely the journal’s editorial team who decides whether to approve or reject the manuscript.

        Also, keep in mind that the journal’s rejection is certainly not the end. You can improve and edit your manuscript based on the feedback and re-submit it or approach other journals to get it published. Remember, being consistent and persevering is the key to success.

        Myth #5: Indexed journals will not accept my article.

        Busted: It is a common myth that most new researchers or authors believe that high-quality scientific journals (indexed journals) will reject their manuscripts. So, the best way to combat this myth would be to visit the desired journal platform and fetch all possible information on journal indexing and abstracting. It not only helps you get well-versed with their indexing policies but also enhances the manuscript quality in line with the journal guidelines.

        Myth #6: Open-access journals charge exorbitant publication fees.

        Busted: Publishing in open-access journals does not necessarily mean you have to make a hole in your pocket. Only about one-third of the open-access journals charge publication fees – article processing charges (APC). 

        Also, if the author cannot afford the publication fee, most journals reduce the publication cost through funding, sponsorships, or membership dues. If you want to self-archive the peer-reviewed manuscript instead of publishing it on open access, you can cut down on the publication fees.

        Myth #7: Open-access journals are not copyrighted.

        Busted: Many open-access journals allow authors to retain the copyrights of the materials. Unlike traditional publishing, the authors do not require any permission to use the research metrics or content of the article. 

        Besides, they allow authors to re-use the materials under Creative Commons licenses that ensure supreme visibility of the article.

        Myth #8: Open-access journal helps only readers and not authors.

        Busted: It is true that open-access benefits the readers by providing free access to the articles. As a result, the rate of readership increases. However, the increased readership is directly proportional to the higher citation counts, therefore boosting the impact factor.

        As a result, it benefits the researchers or authors to gain credibility for their research work and helps them secure grants and funding for future projects. To sum it up, open-access models are beneficial for both the author and the readers.

        Myth #9: Open-access journals are not peer-reviewed and of poor quality.

        Busted: You might find non-peer-reviewed journals on the internet today. However, it depends on the journal’s policy whether to follow the peer-review process or not. But, most of the open-access journals follow a peer-review process that is similar to traditional journals. Post-approval of peer-reviewers and editors, they publish the article ensuring high quality.

        Here are a few examples of credible open-access journals that ensure a high-quality article publication:

        • DOAJ
        • SpringerOpen
        • PubMed Central
        • JSTOR
        • SAGE Open
        • Elsevier

        Myth #10: Submitting my article to open-access journals is the only way to provide open-access articles.

        Busted: There are two ways to make your article digitally available. The first one is submitting to OA journals, while the other one is self-archiving or archiving your articles in digital repositories. So, the myth that publishing solely in open-access journals provides open access to your article does not hold any truth.

        As explained before, you can also submit and publish your article in the journal of your choice and still make your work available online by archiving in digital repositories.

        Archiving articles in a digital repository is the publishing standard that every author or publisher should follow to preserve the content for the long term. To simplify the archiving process and store rich metadata, JATS XML is in practice.

        Open-access journals are changing how academic publishing works, making it easier for everyone to access knowledge. To make sure your research stands out in these journals, it’s crucial to have it expertly edited and proofread. 

        With PaperTrue’s professional editing and proofreading services, your work will shine, helping you make a real impact in the world of open-access publishing!

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        Tanvi Linkedin

        With a foundation in Life Sciences, Tanvi enjoys curating technical writing tips tailored for ESL students. When she's not translating complex concepts into bite-sized nuggets, she can be found playing with dogs or painting landscapes.

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