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Open Access for Allied Health Professionals

This guide to Open Access publishing is for you if you are to new to publishing or an early career researcher thinking of an Open Access route for your research.

Publishers and Open Access

Not for profit publishers and Open Access

Open Access has a campaigning dimension with organisations, who are also publishers, seeking to promote Open Access as an alternative to conventional paid for/subscription publishing. The Public Library of Science [PLoS] is a not-for-profit Open Access publisher that campaigns for Open Access as well as publishing peer reviewed journals in science including Medicine [PLoS Medicine]. The Welcome Trust in collaboration with Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society launched a science journal eLife (2011) to compete with established pay for view science journals.

Commercial pay for view publishers and Open Access

Commercial pay for view publishers can adopt two strategies to facilitate Open Access publishing using the Gold Route. Creating new Open Access publications or a hybrid approach publishing Open Access articles within paid for/subscription based journals. These strategies are not exclusive, publishers do adopt both. They can also allow a Green Route for Open Access to journal articles in paid for journals. Examples of new Open Access publications from established pay for view publishers include:


New commercial publishers and Open Access

The new business model has attracted new publishers into the journals market. Most notable is Biomed Central a pioneering commercial Open Access publisher, part of the Springer publishing group. Smaller publishers have used the Gold Route to rapidly expand their publishing operations, for example, Dove Medical Press.

Predatory Publishers
Predatory publishers are those publishers whose credibility and business practice are questionable or criminal.  While they may claim to be Open Access publishers they abuse the Open Access model for financial gain.  A useful list of predatory publishers called Beales List of Predatory Open Access Publishers is still available on the web but no longer maintained.  A new list, Stop Predatory Journals continues to list predatory and other spurious forms of publication.

Peer Review and the Gold Route

Peer review applies tests of quality, style, and methodological rigour. Traditional printed journals would apply an additional test of significant contribution to the subject/discipline. Print publications sought to make the best use of the limited space provided by the print format, typically rejecting 70% or more of submitted articles. Open Access publication has no space constraints. They publish all articles that meet the normal criteria of peer review (quality, style and methodological rigour) without applying the significant contribution to the literature test. In addition, publishers may offer an Open Access route to submissions which are rejected from other journal titles they publish as an alternative publishing option, provided they pass the peer review criteria for Open Access journals.

Directories and Lists

The DOAJ Directory of Open Access Journals lists scholarly/peer reviewed Open Access Journals. DOAJ also has an article search to search for individual articles within journals.

HighWire Free Online Full Text Articles - lists free access to full text from HighWire Press.