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SU Scholar Information Guide

Information about Southwestern University's institutional repository.

What is Open Access?

Unethical Open Access Publishers/Journals

Unethical publishers, sometimes called predatory publishers, are the Nigerian princes of the open access world. There is a growing industry made of "publishers" that operate in a couple of ways. Some contact new authors (particularly graduate/undergraduate student authors) and "offer" to publish their work in exchange for the copyright. They typically post the work on amazon or other sites and print a copy on demand for anyone who orders it (usually almost no one). Others create a fake journal which is not peer-reviewed or edited, and they charge authors for publishing in said journal.

If you receive a "too good to be true" communication about your scholarship, please be skeptical. Librarians are happy to help investigate the legitimacy of such communications.

See I Sold My Undergraduate Thesis to a Print Content Farm (Slate, 3/23/14), especially if you are contacted by "Lambert Academic Publishing."

Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at UC-Denver, keeps a list of potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open access journals.

Also follow Beall's Scholarly Open Access blog for current developments on the issue.

Finally, this 4/7/13 NYT piece provides great background on this topic: Scientific Articles Accepted (Personal Checks, Too)

Open Access Journal Quality Indicators

Interested in finding open access journals in your discipline? There are hundreds to consider. Scan the Directory of Open Access Journals.

To evaluate the quality of an OA journal, use the Open Access Journal Quality Indicators created at Grand Valley State University.