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publishing in Open Access journals: thoughts?


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Hi, I'm curious as to others opinions about publishing in open access journals such as the BMC series of journals (BMC genetics, BMC medical genetics, etc.). These usually have moderate impact factor (IF of 2-4) and online only. Do people in academia generally view these OA journals as "crappier" (for lack of better descriptor) than conventional journals?

Thanks for your opinions.

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Not going to comment on the open access part, but on the impact factor:

For sub-area publications, an IF of 2-4 is fine.

The more general the publication, the higher IF is needed to be "good".

For example, Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters is a good journal for medicinal chemistry... IF of 2.8. We're quite happy to get publications in it. Even the American Chemical Society subdiscipline journals are small IFs- Biochemistry is around 4, Bioconjugate chemistry around 4, Medicinal Chemistry around 3, even the Journal of Organic Chemistry, which is a very good journal is only around 4.5.

If they'll appeal to a broader audience, then we go to the Journal of the American Chemical Society (IF 8.5), or an even broader audience to Nature or Science.

But for most routine research publications, in a subfield journal (genetics, medical genetics, etc) those aren't bad IFs.

Edited by Eigen
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Open Access is starting to become the fad and fashion. You are getting your science out to a broader audience than publishing at a journal that will keep it behind a paywall. And remember the more people that can see your papers, the more likely your work is to get cited. Even Nature is creating their own PLoS-like journal. Its still reviewed for scientific content but impact or importance are not a pressing concern for these OA-journals. A big issue with them is that the fees needed for OA are solely encumbered by the authors so it can be a little bit expensive and some grants done cover publishing fees so in some cases OA can be prohibitive. As for me, I don't mind it, I see a lot of good stuff coming out and from an author's perspective, you aren't wasting time trying to shop an article. But for a postdoc who needs high impact glamour pubs, they will stay away from OA journals unless it has a good impact factor.

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I'll tag in here... I just read a paper in a pretty good journal that had several PLoS 1 references in it... And citations are what really drive reputation- as more "high rep" journals get open access citations, the viability of open access pubs will go up quite fast.

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