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Open Access: Paying for Open Access

When to pay for OA and when not to.

“You will need to use your judgement to work out whether to pay to publish in a given journal”

Open Access journals may use Article Processing Charges to cover the costs of making the work freely available. This is referred to as the 'Gold' Open Access model and some important publishers such as PLOS and SAGE Open use this model.

Hidden Costs and Predatory Publishers

Open access publishing is gaining a reputation for unexpected hidden costs. The term 'predatory publishers' has been coined to describe publishers who, for example, convince authors to publish with them and then unexpectedly demand money for services associated with the publication.

Avoid paying unnecessary costs

Consider these points to avoid paying unnecessarily while ensuring you are publishing with a credible open access publisher:

  • Take a strategic approach to publishing your work.
    • Aim to publish in the best journal, not the easiest.
  • Check for the journal in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
    • DOAJ has standards for inclusion, aimed at ensuring credibility as research publications.
    • Contact other authors that have published with the journal to get feedback about their experience.
  • Refer at Checklist in the Library Where to Publish guide for further information about avoiding predatory or deceptive publishers.