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Another Way to OA @ FIU: Myths of OA

Publish your scholarly work as open access and at no cost to you in FIU's institutional repository

Myths and Misconceptions about Open Access Publishing & OA Journals

Included here we explore the most common misconceptions that often deter authors from choosing Open Access Options.  Myth 1: You Have to Choose Between Traditional Journals and OA Journals  Myth 2: Open Access Journals Are NOT Peer Reviewed  Myth 3: Open Access Publishers are Only in it to Collect Publishing Fees  Myth 4: Open Access Works Are Not Copyrighted  Myth 5: Open Access Only Benefits the Publishers   Myth 1: You Have to Choose Between Traditional Journals or Open Access Journals

Even if you publish in a traditional journal, you can still make a version of your work openly accessible. 

Over the years, publishers have modified their publishing agreements to allow author's the opportunity to share versions of their work more broadly. 

This includes posting an accepted manuscript (the version after peer review but before any publisher formatting) in an institutional repository. 

How do you know if your publisher allows for this? You can:

  • Check the publisher agreement you signed when you submitted your work
  • Review Author Section of the publisher's website
  • Check Sherpa/Romeo, and online database of publisher's open access policies
  • Contact the library for help!

    When you're ready to make your work openly accessible you can

  • Submit your paper to Digital Commons, FIU's institutional Repository
  • Contact Jill Krefft, Institutional Repository Coordinator for assistance in uploading your works to Digital Commons.   Myth 2: Open Access Journals are not Peer Reviewed and of Poor Quality

Just like traditional journals, reputable open access journals have well established peer review processes and there are many open access journals that are high quality and well established within their respective fields. 

For example, open access journal PLoS Biology impact factor ranks it as #6 of 86 in the Journal Citation Report's biology category.

There are several resources out there to help you identify High Quality Open Access Journals:

Directory of Open Access Journals

Directory of Open Access Journals 


Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association 

Any open access journal that is included in a major database such as Web of Science has been critically reviewed and is likely a reputable OA Journal.

If you're unsure if a publisher might be predatory, read more about how to choose a publisher, view a workshop video or sign up for a live workshop. 

When in doubt, contact a librarian and we can help you identify if the publisher is a high quality journal.   Myth 3: Open Access Publishers are Only in it to Collect Publishing Fees

Predatory and Vanity publishers are not specific to Open Access. There have always been pay to play publishers and journals. 

It's true that some publishers are taking advantage of the Open Access Movement to profit. However, authors can protect themselves from falling prey to these publishers and make informed decisions about where to publish their research. Take a look at this resource "Where Should I Publish My Research?" to learn more about choosing the right publisher or journal.

Having limited funding doesn't have to stop you from publishing Open Access either. There are a number of options available to help reduce OA fees or to share your work openly without paying any fees.

  1. Ask for a Waiver
  2. Look for OA Membership discounts
  3. Self-Archive (Green OA)
    1. Most publishers will allow you to place your accepted manuscript in an institutional or subject repository. Want to know if your publisher allows this? Check Sherpa/Romeo  Myth 4: Open Access Works Are Not Copyrighted

In the United States, all published works are copyrighted. There is no direct relation between copyright and open access. 

Open Access still requires others to request permission for use of your work, while giving you, the author, more flexibility in how you share and use your own work. 

Most open access journals have more liberal policies regarding the transfer of copyright, usually allowing the author to retain most rights to the work. Traditionally publishers have required authors to transfer their full copyright of the article to the journal, restricting your use of your work. More recently, many publishers have begun changing their policies, allowing authors more flexibility when it comes to sharing.  

The ability to share the work more broadly while still maintaining your rights as an author provides you with the maximum benefit. Increased access has shown to increase article citation and improve the overall visibility of your research. 

If you want to learn more about sharing your work, visit How Can I Share It?  Myth 5: Open Access Only Benefits the Publishers

There have been a number of studies that have demonstrated that articles published in Open Access Journals received more citations.  (Lewis, C. L. (2018). The Open Access Citation Advantage: Does It Exist and What Does It Mean for Libraries?. Information Technology and Libraries, 37(3), 50-65.

You can see this citation advantage in the graphic below. This graphic from Frontiers In shows the average citation per paper over a three year window for the top 20 largest publishers in 2017 in SCImago. (Read the full report here)