Quality of an academic journal is essential. However, the quality of open access journals is still often subject to discussion. Open access journals are a fairly young phenomenon, and this may result in questions about the quality of these journals. Furthermore there are so-called 'predatory publishers' who aren't too concerned about the quality of their journals and don't offer the promised services.
How to avoid predatory publishers?
- Check if the open access journal is registered in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). This is a strongly regulated list. If it is registered in DOAJ, the journal is likely to be trustworthy. If not:
- Check if the publisher is a member of COPE or OASPA. If so, the journal is likely to be trustworthy. If not:
- Check if you know anyone from the editorial team of the journal. Contact them to verify that they are truly a member of this team and if the journal has good peer reviews. If you don't know anybody from the editorial team:
- Check if you know authors of any recently published articles. Contact them to ask for their experiences and peer reviews.
- Do you have any other doubts, contact the university library or consider publishing in a different journal.
- In addition to DOAJ, looking up a journal in Web of Science or Scopus can help. These databases apply strict quality criteria.
- The websites Quality Open Access Management (QCAM) and SciRev offer reviews of journals by fellow researchers. You can post your own review of a journal here as well.
- The Article Processing Charge (APC) is not a criterium to judge the quality of a journal. There are good open access journals that don't charge costs to authors.
- On the website Think Check Submit you can find more information on this topic.