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Open Access Publishing Support: FAQs


Do all Open Access journals operate a pay-to-publish model?

Charging authors' publication fees is the best-known business model for open access journals but is actually not the most common. Studies have shown that two-thirds of all peer-reviewed journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals do not charge publishing fees. Equally, many traditional for-profit journals charge author publishing fees on top of reader subscriptions.

What are predatory journals, and how do I find reputable Open Access publishers?

The phrase 'predatory journal' is somewhat contested and contentious. Predatory publishers, also known as fraudulent, opportunistic, or pseudo-publishers, will masquerade as open access publishers while operating on an aggressive, profit-driven business model. Often these publishers make misleading promises of peer review and deceptive statements about their impact factor and editorial team.

Are open access journals peer-reviewed?

Most Open Access journals have similar peer-review processes to traditionally published journals. Remember, the goal of the Open Access movement is to remove access barriers, not quality filters.

The Directory of Open Access Journals lists over 12,000 Open journals, all of which must meet its quality control criteria to "exercise peer-review with an editor and an editorial board or editorial review (particularly in the Humanities) carried out by at least two editors."

Will Open Access limit my citation count?

Put simply, no! Most studies show that publishing Open Access increases your citation count.

In 2016, SPARC Europe conducted a literature review of studies on Open Access citations - 46 out of 70 studies show a citation advantage for Open Access papers.

A large-scale literature review from 2018 found that Open Access papers receive 18% more citations on average.

What's the difference between Open Education Resources and Open Access?

Open Educational Resources (OERs) and Open Access (OA) are distinct concepts under the open scholarship umbrella. OERs are educational materials in the public domain or licensed to allow free use and reuse by anyone. These resources can be licensed under an open Creative Commons license, allowing for retaining, remixing, revising, reusing, and redistributing the resources. OA literature is free of copyright and restrictive license. They are digital and freely available online. Consult the Open Educational Resources guide for more information.

Where can I find more information and support for Open Access Publishing?

The University of California and the University of California, Santa Barbara provide information and support to authors exploring and pursuing Open Access publishing. Please consult the resources below for more information. 

Contact the Open Access Collection Strategist for information about consultations and workshops on open-access publishing.

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