Research can be published in two ways:
- Green route - authors self-archive their research articles or data in an institutional repository such as White Rose Research Online (WRRO) or a central repository such as Europe PubMedCentral, ArXiv etc.
- Gold Route - authors publish in a peer-reviewed Open Access journal that provides immediate free access to all of its articles from the journal website. This usually requires the payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC) to the publisher.
Unfortunately in recent years some bogus publishers have appeared, who aim to exploit the Gold publishing model. These 'predatory publishers' target researchers with offers to publish their work in exchange for fees, but without providing the peer-review services offered by established scholarly open-access journals. These bogus publishers and journals are often very convincing, using fabricated impact factors and false claims of authenticity.
So how can you tell if an open access journal of publisher is reputable or not?
- Generally speaking, it's a good idea to spend some time researching them online to check whether any claims of authenticity are backed up. You can check the impact of a journal using Web of Science or Scopus.
- Beall's List gives an up to date list of known questionable journal publishers and questionable journals.
- These issues and more are explored further in this article on the Scholarly Kitchen blog - which is a fantastic source of information relating to scholarly publishing.
If you're unsure, you can contact the University's Open Access team for advice or assistance.