Publishing Open Access
To make your research outputs openly accessible, some
forward planning is required.
The following are considerations for BEFORE you sign a
publication or copyright agreement with a publisher.
Publishing in an Open Access journal
Open access journals usually provide users with free access to read, download, copy, print and link to the full text content. However, not all open access journals are the same and it is important to consider the differences before you sign a publisher agreement or copyright assignment:
Electronic publishing has significantly reduced the cost of publication for some electronic journals, allowing publishers to keep costs low and provide open access at no cost to the author or to the reader.
The business model for some open access journals, however, is that an article processing fee, which may be as much as $3,000 per article, is required. Academic Pursuit funds, School or personal funding could be used to cover this expense, or it may be possible to include these costs in your initial research grant application.
Quality and Impact
Not all open access journals are peer reviewed. Metrics or citation data are commonly used to measure the quality of a journal. The most commonly used metrics are the Impact Factor (Clarivate Analytics, formerly, Web of Science) and the SNIP and SJR (Elsevier). Note that as open access journals tend to be newer, this could affect their rank, though it does not necessarily mean they are lower quality journals. You will want to check whether a journal is peer reviewed.
Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) (link below) provides a comprehensive list of open access scientific and scholarly journals that use quality control to guarantee the content.
Ownership and resuse rights
Some open access journals are Creative Commons licenced (link below). This means that as author you retain copyright in the open access article and grant certain reuse rights to users.
On thte other hand, an agreement may require you to assign copyright to the publisher, leaving you with no more rights over content you authored than anyone else who is not the author!
Another model is that you retain copyright and the publisher seeks only the exclusive right to publish.
Importantly, you should always check the publication agreement before you sign.
Open access journals manage the immediate release of a research output, which is a critical consideration in some disciplines.
Publishing in a journal which permits self archiving
In disciplines for which open access to your publication is not time critical, you may decide it is acceptable to manage open access via self-archive to a digital research repository.
Some publishers and journals require exclusive access for their subscribers for a period of time, after which a version - often the post-peer review version - can be made openly accessible from a subject or institutional repository such as e-publications@UNE. This is known as self-archiving. An embargo of 6-12 months from date of publication is typical, and is usually set out in the publishing agreement.
You can search Sherpa/RoMEO (link below) by journal title to find out whether a journal you want to publish with supports self-archiving.