Explaining Open Access Journals With The Language Of Math (For Those Who Like That Sort Of Thing)

Jill Cirasella | Open Access @ CUNY | April 22, 2013

In my experience, the #1 confusion about open access journals (that is, “gold” open access journals, or journals that are made fully and immediately open access by their publishers) is the meaning of the word “open.”  Some mistakenly think that “open” has to do with how easy it is to publish in those journals.  But that is decidedly not the case.  No, the “open” in “open access journals” means that the journals make their content freely available online for all to read.  Put differently:

open access = anyone can read the journal
open access ≠ anyone can publish in the journal

This is hugely important: open access publishing is not self-publishing or vanity publishing!  Of course, just as some non-OA journals are higher quality and more selective than others, some OA journals are higher quality and more selective than others.  Before submitting an article to any journal, take a close look at its articles, authors, and editors!