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Criteria for Choosing an Open Access Publisher or Journal

Now we discuss which criteria you should consider when assessing the publisher’s or journal’s quality.

We know what the publishing process looks like. Another important question we have to consider is how can I assess the publisher’s quality?

There is a significant number of journals, publishers and conferences one could submit a work to. The offers vary greatly in terms of quality and service. There are several approaches to identify journals or publishers. Depending on the type of publication and the subject culture, there are more or less options that you can consider for a primary open access publication. Now we discuss which criteria you should consider when assessing the publisher’s or journal’s quality.

Impact factor & call for better metrics

In the search for a suitable journal, one might come across indicators such as the impact factor of a journal. The Journal Impact Factor represents the yearly mean number of citations of articles published in the last two years in a respective journal that is included in Clarivate’s Web of Science.

While originally designed as an instrument to help librarians to decide which journals to subscribe to, it now often serves as a primary indicator of the relative importance of a journal in its respective field. In practice, this means that the Journal Impact Factor is used by funders, researchers, and institutions that employ researchers as an evaluation criterion of research performance, although it refers to the journal as a whole, i.e., the publication platform, and not the individual publications. Initiatives such as The Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA 2012) or the authors of the Leiden Manifesto (Hicks, D. et al. 2015) therefore call for improvements in the current evaluation system of scientific performance in order to evaluate research performance fairly and accurately.

Indicators such as the Journal Impact Factor can reflect the performance of a journal in individual areas, but do not reflect its importance to the scientific community as a whole and cannot substitute for expert review. In its Plan S criteria the cOAlition S (European Science Foundation, 2022. Plan S) also addressed this need for action.

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Openness in Science and Innovation

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