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Illinois Tech Library Guides

Publishing Responsibly

How to publish your research papers responsibly, including information on Open Access (OA), reseearch assessment, etc.

Open Access

Open Access (OA) is one of the biggest trends in publishing and authorship, yet it is not well understood by many researchers. This video provides a brief introduction to OA.

Yet there are many myths surrounding open access. This video attempts to dispel some of the most common.

This does not mean that all open access journals are created equal, any more than all traditional journals are. There are many low quality, little read, and infrequently cited journals in both realms. However, the OA Gold model lends itself to a particular type of abuse: predatory publishing. A predatory publisher, whether open access or not, preys on researchers eager to have the results of their research published by guaranteeing publication in exchange for payment. They do not provide any real peer review, editorial review, or any other type of quality control. Because of this lack of quality, they are usually not indexed by research databases or even by Google Scholar.

This does not mean that they do not accept high-quality research papers; they accept anything for publication regardless of quality. However, by publishing your high-quality research in one of these journals you are throwing away both your exposure and your credibility.

So how can you identify a predatory or other questionable publication?

Some additional tips not mentioned in the videos, but reported by Cabell's are:

  • Predatory journals are several times more likely to include the words "American" or "British" or "European" in their titles than are legitimate journals. For example, Cabell's reports that about 90% of journals with "British" in the title are predatory.
  • Possibly as many as 30% of new medical journals are suspect. Indeed the medical and biological sciences have many more predatory journals than any other disciplines.
  • As of July 2020, less than 1% of journals in the areas related to the study of the novel coronavirus are considered predatory, but this could change rapidly as predatory publishers attempt to cash in on the pandemic.

The Berlin Declaration on Open Access

The full text of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access can be read here:

Open Access at Illinois Tech