How to publish in an Open Access Journal?

If you decide to publish in an Open Access Journal, you have to find a suitable journal for your paper. To do so, visit the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) where nearly 10.000 journals for all kinds of subjects are listed and described.

Some criteria will be essential for finding the right journal for your paper.

One of the major issues scientists are facing is the impact factor of journals. Since Open Access Journals usually do not look back on a long tradition, they often struggle to be accepted in the scientific community. However, studies are showing that, for instance, journals indexed in Web of Science or Scopus may approach the same scientific impact and quality as subscription-based journals. 

A further question concerns licenses: Some Open Access journals will act more liberally and use a CC-BY license, which means that it is possible to share, remix and commercially use the publication. Some publishers and journals tend to employ more restrictive open licenses. A CC-BY-NC license still allows the public community to share and remix the work, but commercial use is prohibited. A CC-BY-NC-ND license will not let you alter, transform or build upon the work, but it´s still free to share the publication. Furthermore, there are journals offering unlimited open access without open licenses.

An essential criterion for publishing open access is the financing of the publication. Open Access usually does not mean free of charge as publishing still generates costs. Some peer-reviewed journals are subsidized, and some will charge publication fees. But article processing charges (APCs) do not automatically mean that authors have to pay out of their own pocket. Funders often share publication costs; this may also be the case at IST Austria.

At the DOAJ website, you will receive information concerning licenses and publication costs of all open access journals. If you find a suitable journal for your needs, you can submit a manuscript in the same way as you would to a conventional journal.

For further questions on publishing in Open Access Journals, please contact the IST Austria-Library.

Impact factor of Open Access Journals

The impact factor (IF) is a measure for academic journals, which reflects the average number of citations of articles published in a certain journal. Scientists can thereby compare the influence of different journals within a certain field. Efficiency and visibility are essential for the reputation of scientists: higher publicity often promotes careers.

Open Access Journals still struggle for reputation within the scientific community, although some already achieve higher IF-values than “conventional” journals. Studies have also shown that articles with free access on average have higher citation rates than ones appearing in journals with restricted access. But not only citation rates and impact factors are essential for the evaluation of journals. Download rates for articles are a useful measure of the visibility of scientific results. It´s clear that articles with open access have a much better chance to be downloaded, read and used. Hence they are more integrated in the circulation of scientific communication.

Springer Compact –Open Access publishing for authors of IST Austria for free

Starting with 1 January 2016 a new deal between the science publisher Springer and Austrian academic libraries takes effect: The Springer Compact deal combines reading and Open Access publishing for Austrian Consortium members like IST Austria. As a result our Institute will gain access to over 2,000 Springer journals from 1997 on. Additionally scientists affiliated to IST Austria will have the opportunity to publish their research Open Access in more than 1,600 Springer journals without additional charges.

Thus the frequently criticized “double dipping” by paying both license fees and article processing charges can be avoided. Furthermore our scientists don’t have to deal with publication fees if their paper was accepted for a Springer journal.  Besides all articles published by this means are going to be completely Open Access. While publishing Open Access intellectual property rights stay at the author.

Papers are eligible for the deal:

·       If it was accepted after 1 January 2016

·       If the corresponding author is affiliated to IST Austria

·       If the paper is going to be published in one of the 1.600 Springer Open Choice journals

If you plan to publish your article in a journal of Springer and you have further questions please visit Springer’s Open access agreement for Austrian authors or contact the library team at

With the help of the new deal the Austrian science community expects a strengthening of the Open Access idea with all its benefits: worldwide free accessibility of scientific publications, higher visibility of science output and probably higher citation rates.

Questionable Open Access Journals

A negative consequence of the rapid growth of scholarly open access publishing funded by article processing charges is the emergence of publishers and journals with highly questionable marketing and peer review practices. These so-called predatory publishers are causing unfounded negative publicity for open access publishing in general.” © 2015 Shen and Björk.

"Predatory" open access publishing is defined as a business model of publishing that charges publication fees (APCs) as most of “gold” open-open access journals do, without providing proper peer review. They pretend to be serious journals despite a lack of editorial and publishing services.

Although its not always easy to draw the line between serious and pseudo-journals some tools can help you to find out, if a journal is trustworthy or not:

  • The Directory of Open Access Journals puts a lots effort to filter out questionable journals, only trustworthy ones ought to be listed here.
  • Go through the list of Chrissy Prater.
  • Possibly the most sufficient way to find out if an open-access journal meets your scientific expectations is to check the quality of some of their articles by skip-reading them.

 If you are not sure about the quality of a journal please contact the library team for further information and guidance.