To OA or not to OA, that is the question.

Aug 29 2012 Published by under Publishing

I know how much vitriol is tossed out about review articles but I'm writing one, so save the complaining for that topic for later.  My dilemma comes down to where do I publish this thing.  My thought is to put this thing in a field specific journal that many people in my field already read, that way I think there it will have maximum visibility to the readership of my field.  But the issue is that the journal is an Elsevier one and thus my article will be locked behind a paywall and thus limit those outside of my immediate field from reading it.

The other publication option that I have given thought to is putting the review in an open access journal so that its visible for all.  The only problem is there are a lot of dogass OA journals out there that no one reads and there is not one that is specific to my field of interest.  So while anyone could read the article my target audience may miss it, because the review is popping up outside of what they normally read.

So dear reader, what are your suggestions.


9 responses so far

  • qaz says:

    With all articles, but especially with review articles, the important question is the audience. Who do you want to see it? What journals do they read? This is particularly important with review articles because they are generally a way to tell one audience about results from another place they may not know about, so you want to make sure it gets to the audience you want.

    I wouldn't worry about paywall or not because if it was funded by NIH (or NSF or HHMI or WellcomeTrust) then you have to make it freely available (e.g. on your home website or on pubmed) after 6 months anyway.

  • The number of journals that accept unsolicited review articles is much, much, much smaller than the number of journals that accept original research papers. Prepare a list of potential journals that accept reviews in your field and then make your decision from there. You may only have one or two journals to choose from.

  • Bashir says:

    Does your area not have journals devoted to reviews? That's where mine is.

  • Laurent says:

    I've long been publishing stuff under paywall but widely recognised journals, and only recently published in an OAJournal. Only once you have enough papers out, should you begin to look after journals that are OA, even if they don't have academic credit yet.

    Probably the biggest issue about OAJs is that we don't know how long they will last. I've heard some interesting papers have been lost when one early OAJ ended the adventure. Could not remember which journal it was but I've seen requests for lost personal archives...

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