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Research Commons

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Navigating the Article Publication Process

Things to Consider

Whether you are considering publishing in an open access journal or a subscription-based journal, it's important to evaluate the journal.

Generally speaking, if you or your colleagues are familiar with the journal, have published in it, or have cited work from it, it's most likely a good journal to choose. For additional guidance, your subject librarian is a great resource.

Some additional criteria to consider include:

  • Does the subject matter covered in the journal fit your scholarship?
  • Do the types of articles published and article length guidelines match with what you want to submit?
  • What is the reputation of the journal? You can look at impact factor or other relevant metrics to help determine this.
  • Are articles in the journal peer-reviewed? Are the policies about peer-review clear?
  • Does the journal have an ISSN, and do articles have DOIs?
  • Is the journal indexed or abstracted in a service that you use (for example: EBSCO, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Scopus, Web of Science, or PubMed)?
  • Who is the audience of the journal?
  • What are the journal’s copyright policies? Are there fees to publish?
  • How long do submissions usually take to be published?

List adapted from Research Guides@Tufts' Identify and Evaluate Journals.

Open Access

What is Open Access (OA)?

  • Open access scholarly literature is free to read and often carries less restrictive copyright and licensing barriers than traditionally published works, for both the reader and the authors.

Why Should I Consider Publishing in an Open Access Journal?

  • Open access (OA) journals reduce permission and price barriers for readers. OA journals allow anyone--researchers, educators, and the general public--to read your article without paying for a subscription. This allows your work to reach as many people as possible.
  • Oftentimes OA journals allow you to retain the copyright for your work.
  • A growing number of research funders and organizations are issuing mandates that either encourage or require researchers to make their research findings available to the public for free. This is referred to as a public or open access mandate.

What is Gold Open Access?

  • Gold Open Access journals make their articles available to their readers free-of-charge from the moment of publication, without embargo or restriction. Authors may or may not pay an article-processing charge (APC) to have their articles published in Gold OA journals. Individual journal articles can also be immediately available in the same manner in journals that do not publish all articles as open access. For more information on APCs, see the box called "Funding for Open Access" on the right sidebar.

What is Green Open Access?

  • Green Open Access refers to the practice of scholars self-archiving their published works to make them available for free to the public. Authors generally provide access to accepted manuscripts or pre-prints/author's manuscripts by uploading them to institutional repositories, disciplinary respositories, or pre-print servers.

What is Hybrid Open Access?

  • Hybrid Open Access journals are fundamentally subscription journals (meaning that a paid subscription or payment for an individual article is required to access the content) that offer authors the option to make their article(s) freely accessible for a fee. While some articles in journals who offer this option are open access, some are still behind a paywall.

Additional Information about Open Access:

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)

Open Access Directory (OAD)

Sharing your Work

Whether you choose to publish in an open access journal, it's worthwhile to consider sharing your work in an institutional repository (IR), like Ohio State's Knowledge Bank. Even if the journal requires a paid subscription to access its articles, you may be able to share the final published version, accepted manuscript, or pre-print/author's manuscript version of the article in an institutional repository, which expands its impact and reach. If you know you are interested in sharing your work in an IR, it's important to know your rights as an author and to closely read and potentially modify your publication agreement.

In addition to Ohio State's institutional repository, you can also consider submitting your work to disciplinary repository. A directory of disciplinary repositories can be found here.

If you have created data associated with your article, you can also consider sharing your data. Also, many funding agencies and journals are now mandating that data also be shared. The Ohio State University is a member Dryad Open Data Repository, and data publishing charges, including large file costs, will be waived for research data submissions made by researchers affiliated with Ohio State. If you have questions about depositing your data, please contact us.

Funding for Open Access

While many journals may be supported by an institution or sponsor, some open access journals pay publishing costs by charging authors article processing charges, or APCs. The amount journals charge varies, and some journals have a waiver option for authors who can't afford to pay an APC. Some funding agencies that require researchers to make their published work and/or any supplemental data openly available also offer financial assistance to authors to cover an APC.

The Ohio State University Libraries has recently entered into a Read and Publish Agreement with Taylor & Francis Group. This agreement greatly increases Ohio State's access to Taylor & Francis journals, while also supporting Open Access publishing for Ohio State authors. Under this three-year agreement, Ohio State will have ongoing access to Taylor & Francis's collection of more than 2,300 journals and Open Access publishing costs of articles published by Ohio State corresponding authors in Taylor & Francis journals will be covered.

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