Although the idea of a journal that is freely available to the public with no financial barriers to access seems great in theory, when it comes to publishing, many researchers struggle with the decision whether to do so in an Open Access (OA) journal or to choose a traditional (and perhaps more well-established) journal. The four main factors you should consider when making this decision are visibility, cost, prestige, and speed.

As opposed to traditional journals, which often charge readers hefty fees to access journal content, OA journals provide content for free on the web and may charge you to publish your findings. Publication in an OA journal may be a good option when you are a researcher in the biological and clinical sciences. When  you are a researchers in other fields you may lean more toward traditional journals that you know and trust.

Four factors to consider 

1. Visibility
Publishing your article in an OA journal means that more people are likely to see it, simply because more people will be able to access it. Although it is still uncertain whether this increase in downloads and visitors translates into an increased citation rate, the greater visibility achieved with OA may allow you to reach potential collaborators more easily.

2. Cost
Both traditional and OA journals may charge a small fee at the time of submission to cover editorial and peer review-related costs. The difference arises in the post-acceptance fees.

3. Prestige
Some researchers are more reticent to publish in OA journals because they may not be as well-known as some of the larger, more well-established journals in a given field. Although many OA journals are new and have not yet received their first impact factor (IF), high-IF OA journals are available in a variety of fields.

4. Speed
4. Speed
If speed is an important factor in your decision regarding where to publish, an OA journal may be the best choice.

Source: Making the Choice: Open Access vs. Traditional Journals (Sarah Conte | AJE | American Journal Experts)

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