Here, we explain different types of Open Access, how to refine your journal search by publishing model, how to know which type of Open Access model journals use, and any costs associated with publishing.
Depending on your personal preference or mandates from funders or institutions, you may be required to publish your work as Open Access (OA). If you wish to identify only Open Access journals and articles, you may consider filtering search results in databases such as our FSTA database or our Journal Recommendation Service, or through dedicated Open Access indexes, such as Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and Science Open.
The DOAJ is the most comprehensive database of Open Access journals, with over 12,000 journals and over 3.5 million articles, as of September 2019. The DOAJ has a high standard criteria to assess journals for inclusion in its database, and therefore it serves as a useful resource for helping identify potentially ‘predatory’ journals (which are addressed in detail later in a dedicated module of this guide).
Publishing an article is perhaps less simple a process than it seems. There are several stages that a paper goes through, which could be accessed by readers, and help influence the impact and presence of an article.
Here are some commonly used terms for each of these stages used by the scholarly publishing industry and academia, that will be helpful to familiarise yourself before you begin navigating different publisher platforms:
‘True’ Open Access is typically determined by the use of Creative Commons licenses, that give the author retention of rights of their work, and stipulate what the readers/users of the work are able to do with it in terms of legal re-use, sharing, repurposing, and remixing.
The most common licenses you will see at major publishers are likely to be:
SHERPA RoMEO is an online resource that aggregates and analyses publisher Open Access policies from around the world and provides summaries of self-archiving permissions and conditions of rights given to authors on a journal-by-journal basis.
There are a wide range of prices across journals that do charge an Article Processing Charge (commonly referred to as APC) for publishing Gold Open Access, from $0 to a current high of over $6000. Green Open Access does not typically come with a fee.
From the information held in DOAJ, the mean average APC charged by journals is $930, the modal average APC is $600, but these only apply to less than 30% of all the journals in the database. Around 70% of journals listed do not charge any fees to authors.
All good journals should make their article fees clearly available in their author guidelines, or dedicated Open Access information tabs.
Here are two example of publishers that provide helpfully transparent information about the prices for all their journals:
You may be required to comply with the requirements of cOAlition S funding bodies, and publish your paper as an Open Access article in a journal which complies with the guidelines laid out in the Plan S documentation.
Plan S is an initiative for Open Access publishing that was launched in September 2018. The plan is supported by cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funders. Plan S requires that, from 2021, scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms.
“All scholarly articles that result from research funded by members of cOAlition S must be openly available immediately upon publication without any embargo period.” (Section 2. Plan S Compliance, Principles and Implementation, cOAlition S)
There are three routes for being compliant with Plan S:
|Open Access publishing venues (journals or platforms)||Subscription venues (repository route)||Transition of subscription venues (transformative arrangements)|
Authors publish in an Open Access journal or on an Open Access platform.
Authors publish in a subscription journal and make either the final published version (Version of Record (VoR)) or the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM) openly available in a repository.
Authors publish Open Access in a subscription journal under a transformative arrangement.
cOAlition S funders will financially support publication fees
cOAlition S funders will not financially support ‘hybrid’ Open Access publication fees in subscription venues.
cOAlition S funders can contribute financially to Open Access publishing under transformative arrangements.
Table of routes to compliance, taken from cOAlition S website. Date accessed 1st October 2019
We would like to acknowledge the damage that deceptive, predatory publishing has done to the reputation of legitimate Open Access publishing, and stress the value of choosing OA journals and open science practices to better the dissemination of research, facilitation of knowledge sharing across global scientific communities and the general population.
It is unfortunate that predatory publishing has influenced negative attitudes towards Open Access. Refer to our Predatory Publishing module for detailed information on the phenomena and advice on how to tell a false journal from a real one.
There are two dedicated subject area pre-print servers that may be useful to authors in the food sciences:
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