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Open Access English: Quality of the Open Access publications

Characteristics of a good Open Access journal

Many researchers consider the quality and reliability of the Open Access publications. Like in all scientific publications also among Open Access publications can be found many kinds of publications in quality and reliability.

Characteristics of a good Open Access journal include:

  • The chief editor and the editorial board are experts in the field
  • The scope of the journal is limited and clearly stated
  • The published articles fit the journal's scope and follow the practices of the discipline
  • The journal clearly states its peer review process
  • The journal is indexed to subject databases (e.g. Scopus, Web of Science).
  • Information about author fees and their coverage is easy to find on the journal's website
  • The journal's information can be found from the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory
  • The journal is included in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
  • The journal clearly states what Creative Commons license they use or determines the article copyrights by some other way
  • The publisher is a member of OASPA (Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association)
  • The journal has an ISSN identifier (International Standard Serial Number)
  • The articles have DOIs (Digital Object Identifier)

Quality and reliability tools

The quality and reliability of the publication channel can be reviewed for example with the help of these services:

The Publication Forum – The classifications of scientific publication channels maintained by the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies. The Publication Forum serves for example as a quality indicator for the whole scientific publication production of universities within the Ministry of Education and Culture funding model.


Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)  List of over 10 000 quality, peer reviewed Open Access journals.  DOAJ has tightened the listing criteria.  An overview of the history and current status of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

InCites Journal Citation Reports  – Journal impacts (Impact Factor). Remote access via the Andor portal.

SCImago Journal Rank - Journal impacts (SJR, H-index for journals)

Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory – International serials directory includes information about over 300 000 periodicals. The search in this database can be limited for example to subject area, language, peer-reviewed and Open Access publishing. Remote access via the Andor portal.

Confactor Journal Selector Tool

Think. Check. Submit. A check list for selecting a journal for your research.

Professor Juha Kere 20.10.2014:

Further reading about quality of Open Accesss journals

Open Access Scholarly Publishers Associationin (OASPA)  has identified principles of The Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

Doaj: Criteria for open access and publishing.

Blog: Flaky Academic Journals

Cenyu Shen and Bo-Chister Björk: "Predatory" open Access: a longitudinal study of article volumes and market characteristics".
BMC Medicine 2015. Vol 15. Issue 230. Doi:10.1186/s12916-015-0469-2.

Open Access Journal Quality Indicators.By GVSU LIbraries.