Undoubtedly, the paradigm of open access publishing has made a tangible impact on the scientific and academic publishing world. This open-access model enables researchers and publishers to publish and access the research articles without any subscription fees or limitations. In the same vein, the readers also get access to the research papers free of cost. As a result, many authors and researchers are earning credibility by reaching the audience worldwide.

Although open access journals are the most efficient models for online publishing, the evolution of open access journals has paved the way for several preconceptions and debatable topics.

This article will unveil the 10 most common myths people have about open access journal publishing and uncover the truth behind it!

Let us dive in!

Ten common myths about open access journals

Myth #1: Publishing my article in an elite journal is sufficient to increase readership and citation counts.

 

Busted: Every year, millions of authors use recognized open access journals to cite previously published articles and to publish their articles anticipating increased readership nationwide.

But the fact is, a well-written manuscript including concise descriptions, authentic discussions, coherent conclusions, and accurate research metrics can eventually reach the target readers irrespective of the journal’s fame. So, centering on good research content is ideal for increasing readership, and remember, it doesn’t necessarily depend on top-tier journals. 

Myth #2: Publishers add no or little value to the open-access systems

Busted: It’s a myth that publishers add no value to the journal publishing process. But the truth is, scholarly publishing is a complicated process, and publishers lie at the core of the peer-review process and its management workflow. Since the peer-review process deals with numerous stages viz. proofreading, copy-editing, article linking, typesetting services, etc., Every phase has its own challenges and limitations (majorly time-taking and inducing high production costs) that publishers need to manage. So, publishers are responsible for the effective management of journal publications both financially and technically.

Pro-Tip: If you want to reduce the time and production costs of journal publication, try Typeset. Typeset manages the entire publishing operations automatically and simplifies the article submission process.

Myth #3: Since case reports have no value. Should I even publish my case findings?

Busted: Certainly, most of the original research is based on case reports and case series findings. It is an utter misconception that there is no value for case reports. If you have a clinically relevant unique case report that is unpublished, you can publish it for sure. That way, you are introducing a new concept to the respective industry.

Myth #4: My manuscript got rejected by Journal X. I should give up on my publishing dream

Busted: One should never give up on the publishing desire at the cost of manuscript rejection. There are multiple reasons to reject the manuscript. And, it is solely the journal’s editorial team who decides whether to approve or reject the manuscript.

Also, keep in mind that the journal’s rejection is certainly not the end. You can improve your manuscript based on the feedback and re-submit it or approach other journals to get it published. Remember, being consistent and persevering is the key to success.

Myth #5: Indexed journals will not accept my article

Busted: It is a common myth that most new researchers or authors believe that high-quality scientific journals (indexed journals) will reject their manuscripts. So, the best way to combat this myth would be to visit the desired journal platform and fetch all possible information on journal indexing and abstracting. It not only helps you get well-versed with their indexing policies but also enhances the manuscript quality in line with the journal guidelines.

Myth #6: Open access journals charge exorbitant publication fees

Busted: Publishing in open access journals does not necessarily mean you have to make a hole in your pocket. Only about one-third of the open-access journals charge publication fees – article processing charges (APC). Also, if the author cannot afford the publication fee, most journals reduce the publication cost through funding, sponsorships, or membership dues.

Also, if you want to self-archive the peer-reviewed manuscript instead of publishing it on open access, you can cut down the publication fees.

Myth #7: Open access journals are not copyrighted

Busted: Many open access journals allow authors to retain the copyrights of the materials. Unlike traditional publishing, the authors do not require any permission to use the research metrics or content of the article. 

Besides, they allow authors to re-use the materials under creative commons licenses that ensure supreme visibility of the article.

Myth #8: Open access journal helps only readers and not authors

Busted: It is true that open-access benefits the readers by providing free access to the articles. As a result, the rate of readership increases. But, the increased readership is directly proportional to the higher citation counts, therefore boosting the impact factor.

As a result, it benefits the researchers or authors to gain credibility for their research work and helps them secure grants and funding for future projects. To sum it up, open access models are beneficial for both the author and the readers.

Myth #9: Open access journals are not peer-reviewed and of poor quality

Busted: You might find non-peer-reviewed journals on the internet today. However, it depends on the journal’s policy whether to follow the peer-review process or not. But, most of the open-access journals follow a peer-review process that is similar to traditional journals. Post-approval of peer-reviewers and editors, they publish the article ensuring high quality.

Here are a few examples of credible open-access journals that ensure a high-quality of articles publication;

  • DOAJ
  • SpringerOpen
  • PubMed Central
  • JSTOR
  • SAGE Open
  • Elsevier

Myth #10: Submitting my article to open access journals is the only way to provide open access article

Busted: There are two ways to make your article digitally available. The first one is submitting to OA journals, while the other one is self-archiving or archiving your articles in digital repositories. So, the myth that publishing solely in open access journals provides open access to your article does not hold any truth.

As explained before, you can also submit and publish your article in the journal of your choice and still make your work available online by archiving in digital repositories.

Archiving articles in a digital repository is the publishing standard that every author or publisher should follow to preserve the content for the long term. To simplify the archiving process and store rich metadata, JATS XML is in practice.

In addition, JATS XML is used to model the articles for streamlined data exchange and deposition. Therefore, modern publishers and authors convert the documents to JATS XML format to make them machine-readable and easily discoverable.

If you find the conversion process technical and ever need any help on this, Typeset is your rescue pulley. You can leverage the Typeset platform to convert the articles into any desired format quickly and easily. In fact, it does not even cost you a minute.

Conclusion

No matter what the arena is, delusions will always be an inevitable part of its growth. Consequently, it outgrows and eventually subsides when we address it sensibly.

I hope this article helped clear the confusion on open access journals. If you have any queries on this, you can leave your comments below.

Appendix

If you want to explore more about open access publications and the processes involved, refer to the blogs below:

  1. 4 Best Practices for Open Access (OA) Journal Publishing
  2. Why Use OJS for Journal Publishing & Management
  3. How to Get Your Articles Indexed in PubMed: The Go-To Guide for Publishers
  4. Get Indexed: List of Prominent Indices for Academic Journals
  5. OJS Setup — Step 1: Site administration and Journal Management

This is a guest article by Sumalatha Gangadhar from Typeset.