Dear colleagues,

Recently you should have received an emailed notice from our office about Georgia State's memberships with two Open Access publishers, BioMed Central and Hindawi Publishing Corp.  Since that notice, we have received some feedback expressing concerns about the quality of Open Access publishing journals and we wish to address these concerns.

We wish to emphasize that Open Access isn’t a qualitative distinction; it only indicates that published scholarship will be freely available to everyone with an internet connection.  When considering where to submit manuscripts, faculty need to consider the focus, scope, reputation, editorial policies and impact of the particular journal, just as they would with subscription-based publishers.  Some specific resources that can help with that are ISI Web of Knowledge’s Journal Citation Reports<http://homer.gsu.edu/search/databases/proxy/GLL25431>, Ulrich’s Global Serials Directory<http://homer.gsu.edu/search/databases/proxy/GLL19854> and (for open access) the Directory of Open Access Journals<http://doaj.org/> and Beall’s List of predatory open access publishers<http://scholarlyoa.com/publishers/>.  And, similar to subscription-based journals, BioMed Central and Hindawi journals that have impact factors state that information clearly on the journal home page, for example, Hindawi journals The Scientific World Journal<http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/> and Journal of Applied Mathematics<http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jam/> and BioMed Central journals BMC Biology<http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcbiol> and BMC Medicine<http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcmed> which are both in the top ten of their categories, with BMC Biology ranked 5th of 83 Biology journals, and BMC Medicine ranked 7th of 151 journals in General and Internal Medicine.

The Georgia State University Library's O<http://research.library.gsu.edu/content.php?pid=217246>pen Access Research Guide<http://research.library.gsu.edu/content.php?pid=217246> (http://research.library.gsu.edu/openaccess) contains a lot of information that will help faculty when they’re considering the pros and cons of Open Access publishing.  Georgia State supports open access through its repository, Digital Archive @ Georgia State University<http://digitalarchive.gsu.edu/>, which now contains over 6,500 open access publications authored by Georgia State scholars; these items have been downloaded nearly two million times to date.

We hope that this provides some clarification about how to use Open Access publishing to your benefit and also provides you with helpful resources to make an informed decision regarding the publication of your research in an Open Access journal. If you have further questions about open access journals, you may contact Sean Lind ([log in to unmask], 404-413-2757) in the University Library.

  Sincerely,
  Monica H. Swahn, Ph.D.
  Associate Vice President for Research
  Professor, Public Health