Open Access Scholarly Journals: Real and Fake

Categories: Tools and Resources, Writing and Editing

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correctionsOpen access journals have flourished due to the ease of online publishing, and the interest of readers without institutional library privileges. Scholars who want to publish articles are increasingly concerned with the impact of their work, and might feel that open access journals will reach a broader audience. The Budapest Open Access Initiative argues that open access serves the public good through “the world-wide electronic distribution of the peer-reviewed journal literature and completely free and unrestricted access to it by all scientists, scholars, teachers, students, and other curious minds.”

Unfortunately, not all open access journals have the public good—and reputations of researchers—as their top priority. These predatory journals collect a fee, but do not deliver on the editorial and peer review services essential to scholars. If you are considering the possibility of submitting an article to an open access journal, especially one that requires a fee, you will want to make sure you have selected a legitimate publication. The Committee on Publication Ethics outlines a set of Core Practices for journals and their editors. Membership in COPE is a sign that the journal is committed to academic honesty. Here are some additional resources to consult:

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