Evaluating Quality in Open Access Journals – Delta Think

“It’s not uncommon for us to hear a society or association voice strong reservations about starting an open access (OA) journal based on a fundamental belief that open access is synonymous with low quality. “A fully open access journal will dilute our brand” is one refrain; “We don’t want to start a ‘journal of rejects’” is another.

This month we decided to dig into the data to see if this belief is well founded: On average, are fully OA journals lower, equal, or superior quality to their subscription siblings? …

While the proportion of fully OA journals is growing over time, the proportion of higher-performing fully OA journals [by citations] is growing faster than the average performers….The data show that an increasing number of fully OA publications are attaining higher impact factors at faster rates than their subscription and hybrid counterparts….There is nothing preventing an OA journal from being ‘high quality’, and based on this data, a fully OA journal’s Impact Factor now appears more likely to be above average for its field.”