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Open Access and scientific quality

To have one's articles published in the most highly esteemed journals is prestigious and a career booster.


Stefan Carlstein
036-10 10 15

It is also a strategy that universities usually support. One way to measure research quality is to see how many articles are published in high quality journals and how many citations those articles get. This is based on the assumption that most research findings sooner or later are published as articles in international scholarly journals and are read by other researchers who, in their turn, cite those articles in their own subsequent work. The more citations an article gets, the more impact it is supposed to have. It is assumed that articles published in high ranked journals will receive more citations, especially because the competition is greater and there is limited space.

More citations?

Some research indicates that articles published Open Access also receive more citations. Open Access provides the possibility to reach a wider audience. How matters stand on this issue remain to be investigated further. As it has turned out, non-commercial Open Access journals have had difficulties to compete with traditional journals. A tendency is that non-commercial Open Access journals are short-lived. An important aspect of what kind of quality a journal is assumed to have is if it is indexed in important databases, such as ISI Web of Science. It usually takes a couple of years before a new journal is accepted into Web of Science, and therefore, it is too early to know how successful the Open Access journals will be.

To be published in high quality journals that are also Open Access can be a good strategy. In the database Ulrichsweb you can quickly and easily get information on a journal's quality and in which databases it is indexed, if it allows parallel publishing in open archives, and what alternative Open Access journals there are. More than 300,000 journals are listed in the database.

Read more about open access in the Publication Strategy guide:

Content updated 2017-12-18

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