26 October 2016

Open Access Week: OA Journal Authors

Continuing with a look at how forced migration authors make their work Open Access (OA): Do they publish articles in OA journals? (This is referred to as "gold OA"; learn more about this on my OA blog.)

Before answering this question, it's important to note that there are different degrees of "openness" when it comes to OA journals. The definition of open access refers to both price and permission barriers. Some journals remove price barriers (i.e., articles are free to read) but may retain permission barriers (e.g., articles are still copyrighted). Other journals remove price barriers and at least some permission barriers. Two terms coined by Peter Suber to capture these distinctions are "gratis OA" for the former and "libre OA" for the latter.

To get a better idea of how open an OA journal is, check out this chart. You can also judge the degree of openness of a journal by the type of Creative Commons license it has adopted.

Trends observed on this blog:

With that in mind, the trend on this blog indicates that forced migration authors do indeed publish in OA journals, and in greater numbers than observed with self-archiving. My count of articles referenced on this blog in 2015 that were published in open access journals comes to 257 articles in 157 different journals.

Of these articles, 163 were published in what can be characterized as "libre OA" journals. Many of these journals (over 30) are health-related. The other 94 articles were published in 76 journals whose content was free to read online, but was still copyrighted ("gratis OA"). Interestingly, a majority of these journals (over 50) are law reviews.

Your turn?

The best resource to refer to in order to identify relevant OA journals is the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). It allows you to browse for journals by subject, the kind of license they carry, whether or not they charge fees to publish, whether or not they are peer reviewed, etc. In addition, DOAJ has gone through an extensive weeding process to identify and remove low-quality OA journals (see more tips for assessing the quality of OA journals in this blog post).  Another resource, the Electronic Journals Library, has a much more comprehensive listing of law-related journals. However, it does not apply the same strict selection standards as DOAJ.

Finally, here is a list of OA journal titles of more particular relevance to forced migration authors.

Tagged Web Sites/Tools.

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