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Myths about Publishing in an Open Access Journal


This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

This article was originally published by Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd and was migrated to Scientific Scholar after the change of Publisher; therefore Scientific Scholar has no control over the quality or content of this article.

Today, there are more than 10,000 open access journals published in 136 countries. This is a welcome change from the society-controlled and readers-pay-fee–based journals where only a few privileged members have access to scientific material. Open access journals make available approximately 1.9 million articles each year for free across the globe. Indeed, this is a remarkable contribution to science. Despite this, there are many misconceptions about open access journals.

  1. To get published in an open access journal is easy.

    • Most open access journals have a strict manuscript review policy. For example, in the Journal of Clinical Imaging Science, every manuscript that is accepted for publication has been peer-reviewed by two world experts in the field pertaining to the article. We strictly adhere to the recommendations of our reviewers who do an excellent job in reviewing and weeding out articles that offer no new information or do not meet the global standards of good research work. Our acceptance rate is approximately 30%.

  2. Acceptance of manuscript is motivated by monetary gains.

    • Acceptance of a manuscript is decided by the quality and content of the manuscript and not the payment of processing fee. The processing fee is charged to cover the overheads as most of the open access journals do not belong to a society where members’ annual fees support publishing costs. Therefore, open access journals have to generate their own funds to sustain publication activities

    • The positive point to remember in open access journals is that the copyright of the material is retained by the author and his/her publication is made public for free to the whole world. This free access leads to dissemination of scientific work across the globe promoting innovations in science and sharing of important information that leads to better medical care worldwide.

  3. How can an author get an article published in an open access journal like the Journal of Clinical Imaging Science?.

    • An author must select a research topic/clinical study that offers new information for publication. He should then follow the guidelines mentioned in the “Guidelines to authors” on the journal's website to write a manuscript. Editors like manuscripts that are free of grammatical errors and are in a good, syntactically correct English writing style. This is not always possible for an author from India, China, or South Korea. However, such authors can use the help of professional copyediting services to improve the presentation of their manuscript, thereby increasing the chance of acceptance of the article for publication. There are many such copyediting sites in the US. One I am personally familiar with is

    • Reviewers’ comments: If your article is tentatively accepted subject to satisfactory revisions, please follow strictly the reviewers’ comments. First of all, this adds value to your manuscript and second, editors look at it very carefully on resubmission. Addressing all the concerns raised by reviewers in your manuscript increases the chance of acceptance. It is advisable to not take for granted that the article will be finally accepted if the reviewers’ comments are not addressed.

  4. Non-open access journals are better than open access journals

    • Most non-open access journals belong to professional societies and publications in them are also, to an extent, influenced by the people at the helm of these societies. Most of the literature published by them is excellent, although a small percentage of work published is questionable. The same holds true for open access journals as well. Ultimately, the quality is influenced by the editor's integrity and board of advisors of the journal

    • Impact factor is very often quoted to show the quality of the journal. Since most journals are published and owned by various professional societies, their success depends on the number of the society members. Society members usually tend to quote their own society journals in their publications, which artificially bloats the impact factor. I am not sure if the impact factor of a journal is a true reflection of its standards. How does one assess independent journals like the Journal of Clinical Imaging Science which do not belong to a society and yet are able to deliver quality content?

This debate of open access versus non-open access will continue. In the end, it is the quality of articles that matters and it is up to the readers to decide what works for them.

With best wishes in publishing your research work.

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