Open Access journals make articles freely available online, permitting users to read, redistribute or reuse content. Often the reuse rights are defined through use of Creative Commons Licenses.
New open access journals have been proliferating rapidly. Many are high-quality peer-reviewed publications. The low barrier to entry into the market has also allowed the proliferation of journals that engage in unprofessional or unethical practices. The following quality indicators are intended to provide guidance in evaluating publication venues or in responding to invitations to serve as an editor or reviewer.
No single criterion below indicates whether or not a publication is reputable, but the balance of positive and negative indicators may inform the evaluation. If further help is needed, please contact your subject librarian.
The indicators are adapted from those provided by Grand Valley State University Libraries.
Open Access Journals Generally Considered Reputable
Public Library of Science Founded in 2000 by Patrick O. Brown, Harold E. Varmus, & Michael Eisen. Megajournal PLOS ONE accepts original research in all scientific disciplines, including interdisciplinary research, negative results and replication studies – all vital parts of the scientific record.
Elsevier's Open Access journals (Authors pay article processing charges, access is free to readers). Heliyon is a completely open access megajournal from Elsevier that publishes robust research across all disciplines.
Springer's Open Access journals. (Authors pay article processing charges or their institutions pay membership fees, access is free to readers).
Nature Communications (megajournal) publishes high-quality papers from all areas of science that represent important advances within specific scientific disciplines, but that might not necessarily have the scientific reach of papers published in Nature and the Nature research journals.
Scientific Reports (megajournal) is an online, open access, unbranded journal from the publishers of Nature, which publishes primary research from all areas of the natural and clinical sciences.
Cabells is a curated list of over 11k academic journals spanning 18 disciplines, guiding researchers and institutions in getting the most impact out of their research.
"Journalytics" reviews over 4,500 journals and includes impact factors. "Predatory Reports" lists over 14,000 journals with questionable publication practices, unclear peer review process, and other indications of a lack of integrity. Use Google Chrome with Cabells.
"The subscription of Cabells is vital to our AACSB accreditation. We have defined standards for journal publication quality. This is the largest database we are aware of for this type of information."