Changing publishing models, including the rise of open access journals, have reshaped the ways in which scholars share and use journal articles. The author-pays model of some open access publications did not give rise to predatory or vanity publishing as is often claimed nor are such problems exclusive to open access publishing. Even traditional subscription journals should be carefully analyzed for quality. Below are some tools to help you in the evaluation of open access publications.
A coalition of scholarly publishers and associations collaborated to create this short checklist for authors to refer to when evaluating a journal as a possible place of publication for his research. By asking a few short questions and evaluating the journal according to the checklist, authors can be assured that the journal they are considering, whether subscription based or open access, will be one of quality, rigor, and respect.
The Open Access Spectrum was developed by SPARC in collaboration with PLOS and OASPA. This tool displays the core components of open access across a spectrum indicating how closed or open a journal is based upon its policies on reader rights, reuse rights, copyrights, author posting rights, automatic posting, and machine readability. The How Open Is It? guide can be downloaded and shared with faculty and students who have questions about how to evaluate open access journals. The Open Access Spectrum Evaluation Tool can also be used to filter and locate journals based upon publisher policies on these key components.