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Syracuse University Libraries

Research Metrics

Helping the researcher to navigate metrics

Evaluating Open Access Journals

Evaluating OA Journal Quality

Positive Indicators
  • scope of the journal is well-defined and clearly stated
  • journal’s primary audience is researchers/practitioners
  • editor, editorial board are recognized experts in the field
  • journal is affiliated with or sponsored by an established scholarly society or academic institution
  • articles are within the scope of the journal and meet the standards of the discipline
  • any fees or charges for publishing in the journal are easily found on the journal web site and clearly explained
  • articles have DOIs (Digital Object Identifier, e.g., doi:10.1111/j.1742-9544.2011.00054.x)
  • journal clearly indicates rights for use and re-use of content at article level (e.g., Creative Commons CC BY license)
  • journal has an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number, e.g., 1234-5678)
  • publisher is a member of Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) Review their:
  • journal is registered in UlrichsWeb (see library tools in next section)
  • journal is listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals
  • journal is included in subject databases and/or indexes.
  • journal past issues are archived and accessible.
Negative Indicators
  • journal web site is difficult to locate or identify
  • publisher “About” information is absent on the journal’s web site
  • publisher direct marketing (i.e., spamming) or other advertising is obtrusive
  • instructions to authors information is not available
  • information on peer review and copyright is absent or unclear on the journal web site
  • journal scope statement is absent or extremely vague
  • no information is provided about the publisher, or the information provided does not clearly indicate a relationship to a mission to disseminate research content
  • repeat lead authors in same issue
  • publisher has a negative reputation (e.g., documented examples in Chronicle of Higher Education, list-servs, etc.)

Source: Open Access Journal Quality Indicators was developed by the Grand Valley State University Libraries modified from Beaubien, S., Eckard, M. (2014). Addressing Faculty Publishing Concerns with Open Access Journal Quality Indicators. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 2(2):eP1133.

Finding High Quality Open Access Journals