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Open Access Myths and Facts

Myth: Open Access (OA) journals are not peer-reviewed and are of low quality. Paying to publish in an OA journal is equivalent to vanity publishing.

Fact: OA journals, just like any other journal, can be peer-reviewed or not, depending on the journal policy. The fact that the journal is Open Access says nothing about whether it is peer-reviewed. Most scholarly OA journals are peer-reviewed. Commonly, there is a “firewall” between the fee payment and editorial/peer-review; editors and peer-reviewers don’t know if the fee has been paid or waived.

Learn more: Open Access and quality by Peter Suber

Myth: If I want to publish OA I have to submit my article to an OA journal.

Fact: With an OA repository, you can make an article available, while still publishing in a non-OA journal. Most publishers now permit authors to deposit a version of their article in an OA repository.

Learn more: Types of Open Access publishing (green)

Myth: OA is a subversive movement that will ultimately undermine our copyright system.

Fact: OA uses copyright-holder consent to make works available freely and does not require the abolition or infringement of copyright law. One common way for copyright holders to permit open access use of their work is to use a Creative Commons copyright license.

Myth: All OA journals have large publishing fees.

Fact: Author-side fees are one business model for OA journals, but it is not the most common business model. Many journals are subsidized by universities or professional societies and do not charge author-side fees. Additionally, in some cases, OA fees may be waived or covered by funding agencies.

Learn more: OA Journal Business Models

Last updated: 7/23/2015