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Access and discoverability
Are all articles in the journal available open access? If not, what is the journal's policy on open access to content?
Open access provides a way to promote broader access to research outputs via the immediate and free of charge online access to all content within each issue of a journal. Any user is able to download, copy, distribute, print, search for and link to the full text of content.
Some journals also allow articles to made available via open access after the author pays an article processing charge.
Four main factors need to be considered when making a decision about whether to publish in an open access journal or a subscription based journal (usually paid by the institution)1.:
- Visibility - articles available open access are more likely to be seen because they are more accessible to a wider audience.
- Cost - many open access journals charge an article processing fee that may range between $50-$4000+. The author is usually charged this fee at the time of submission or acceptance. On the other hand, rising subscription costs can be prohibitive, and may result in an institution cancelling a journal subscription.
- Prestige - many open access journals are not as well-known as more-established journals, and may not be considered as prestigious. When considering the quality of a journal it is important not to rely solely on the impact factor - consider using other quality and esteem measures.
- Speed - The length of time that the peer review process takes can vary enormously from journal to journal. If the speed from acceptance to publication is important check the discussion at timeliness.
Search the SHERPA/ROMEO by journal title/ISSN or publisher for details of the copyright and self archiving policies of journals.
1. Conte, S. (2016). Making the choice: Open access vs traditional journals. American Journal Experts. http://www.aje.com/en/arc/making-the-choice-open-access-vs-traditional-journals/
If the journal is not open access, how widely is it available to local, national and international readership?
For journal holdings in library collections:
- University of Newcastle Library - Library Search
- TROVE - includes library holdings from Australian university, state, national and public libraries
- WorldCat - includes library holdings of over 10,000 libraries internationally
Is the journal indexed by the discipline-specific databases in your research area, or by the well-known citation databases?
Journal websites often include lists of databases where a journal is claimed to be indexed. For some journals these claims are misleading or entirely untrue. To ensure you are viewing verified details about the indexing of a journal check:
Provides access to Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory, Irregular Serials and Annuals, International Serials Database Update and other related resources. Ulrich's provides a range of information on serial titles which includes bibliographic information, indexing and abstracting sources of individual titles, costs, frequency, language, URLs and also indicates if the serial title is refereed. There are also links to tables of contents, and article abstracts. The quick search option allows you to search by ISSN, title, keyword and subject. Alternatively you can browse serial titles by general subject area or by specific indexes such as title, language, vendor, etc.