Publishing open access

Last changed: 14 February 2019
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There are mainly two ways to publish your results open access (OA). Either by self-archiving or by publishing in an open access journal.

Publishing in an open access journal (gold)

Publish in an open access journal, or the so called golden road. Open access publishers normally charge a publication fee, and once published the article is free for everyone to read. Authors normally retain copyright to their material.

There are a great number of peer reviewed, scientific open access journals to publish in. Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) can be used to find a suitable journal. As a researcher at SLU you will get discounts on publication fees for open access articles with the publisher BioMed Central.

Self-archiving (green)

Another way to achieve open access is to make your scholarly texts openly available by self-archiving, also known as the green road to OA or parallel publishing. Self-archiving means that after publication with a traditional publisher you also deposit a copy of your text in an open access repository.

At SLU self-archiving is easy: simply attach the copy of your article for transfer to Epsilon, the SLU open archive, while registering the publication in SLUpub. Most often it is your accepted version of the text, i.e. after peer-review corrections, that may be used. Most publishers allow this in some form. 

If your publication is under a publisher embargo you can still deposit it right away. The library staff will set the correct date. Your text will not be made available online until the set time has elapsed.

Check SHERPA/RoMEO for an overview of what your publisher allows.

Hybrid journals

There is yet another way to publish open access called Hybrid Open Access. This means that you pay a fee in order to make your article available open access in a non-open, traditional journal.

Predatory journals and publishers

Since open access journals cover their costs by charging publication fees, a number of questionable actors have appeared on the market. Predatory publishers are only interested in making money off your research and do not care about scientific quality or publishing in a way that is academically advantageous to you.

These publishers often send mass e-mails, not least to PhD students and researchers with a fresh doctorate degree, aiming for those who may be extra interested in getting published. However, trustworthy publishers sometimes also communicate via e-mails.

In order to determine if a journal is trustworthy one way to go about it is to use Cabells Blacklist. Other tips are listed below.

How do I recognise and avoid "predatory publishers"?

Some things to consider if you get an offer to publish:

  • Search the web. What do you find about the publisher? Any pages or blog posts with negative experiences?
  • What information is availabe on the publisher web site? Any contact information? Is it clear where the publisher is situated? Any information on the editorial board? Do you recognise any persons or departments who have previously published with this publisher?
  • How is the offer written? Bad English and spelling errors are warning signs, of course.
  • Talk to your colleagues – did any of them get the same offer to publish or be part of an editorial board?
  • If you do proceed with a less well-known publisher: make sure to read the license to publish with great care so that you are certain of what the terms are.

If you need advice you are always welcome to contact the SLU University Library!

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