How to select an open access journal

Welcome to Thursday’s Thoughts at the Edanz Learning Lab! Our posts on Thursday bring you science industry insights, news about key trends, and perspectives from our journal editors and researchers. Let’s kick off this series with perhaps the single biggest issue to face the academic publishing industry in recent years: Open Access and Open Research. 


You’ll be well aware of Open Access (OA) journals. One component of Open Research, the idea that all data and content should be freely available and accessible to all, OA journal content is downloadable by anyone, from anywhere, at anytime. 

Picking a good journal to target with a research article is one of the most common issues researchers face. How can you select? There are literally thousands of journals out there to choose from? Which journal is going to be best for your next research paper? 

Researchers consider three elements when selecting a target journal for their papers: 

  • Reach (how many people will read the paper) 
  • Reputation (how good is the journal, often: what’s it’s impact factor) 
  • Accessibility (most researchers favour OA) 

While OA journals are accessible to all – content is free to download – there are some possible issues with open access publications, and researchers always have lots of questions about them.

  • Open access journals often tend to have lower Impact Factors than their more traditional counterparts
  • There is also almost always a fee for OA publication.
  • This fee is called an article processing charge (APC) and has, of course, led to a rise in so-called ‘predatory publishers’ and journals.

We will talk more about this in our post tomorrow, so stay tuned! 


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Also recommended (FREE for all members):

• Take our Journal Selection course.

• Use our Journal Selector tool to find the perfect journal for your paper.

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