Open access (OA) journals, like subscription journals, run the gamut from reputable and well-regarded to little-known and menial. But, with OA publishers asking authors — or their institutions — to pay article processing charges to make the work open to all readers, the latter group of journals (little-known and sloppy) have been able to make a good deal of money from unwitting scholars.
Jeffrey Beall called this subset of OA publishers “predatory” and created an online list of “predatory publishers.” A not insignificant number of researchers in higher education, including many librarians, voiced concerns about some of Beall’s criteria, and some of his judgements, but many authors found it helpful to check his list before submitting an article to an open access journal. But with Beall’s list recently taken down, where should authors go to find which OA journals to avoid?
How about knowing which OA journals to support instead? Beall’s list was a blacklist, but there are white lists widely available. These lists identify journals and publishers that follow established, recognized standards in open access publishing. The Directory of Open Access Journals (doaj.org) is one excellent list, as well as the membership list for the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (oaspa.org/membership/members). If a journal is listed in the DOAJ, or the publisher is a member of OASPA, authors can be assured that the journal to which they’re submitting follows responsible publishing practices.
For more information on open access publishing, contact your liaison librarian (www.lib.utk.edu/askusnow/subject-librarians), or the Scholarly Communication and Publishing Librarian, Rachel Caldwell (firstname.lastname@example.org).