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Open access

Research networks

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Choosing publishing channel for scholarly articles

Be careful when selecting publishing channel for an article, if the publishing channel is previously unknown. The reliability of open access journals can be assessed in the same way as for traditional scientific publications. At least these should be checked:

  • How is the publisher's contact information shown on the website?
  • Does the publishing channel have an ISSN-number?
  • Are there any information on the journal e.g. in DOAJ, Publication Forum?
  • Possibility of parallel publishing / embargo
  • Have other researchers in your field published in the journal?
  • Quality of previous articles in the journal
  • How is peer review organized?
  • Which are the members of the journal's editorial staff?
  • Is the journal indexed in central databases within the field (e.g. Web of Science and Scopus)?

Always watch out for predatory publishers!

Parallel publishing

Parallel publishing is a form of free accessibility, where a publication published through a publication channel is also made freely accessible in a university's institutional repository. Most universities and research institutes have digital archives. The National Library maintains Theseus (publications of universities of applied sciences) and Doria (publications of Finnish universities).  

Research institutes and funding agencies also recommend or even require that research results are made freely accessible to promote research transparency, the possibility of repetition and thus increasing reliability. For example, the Academy of Finland requires that the research they fund as far as possible should be parallel published in freely accessible archives or databases.     

Parallel publishing is free for the researcher and the organization, and it meets the recommendations for accessibility, visibility, and archiving in the same way as publishing in an open access journal. ROARMAP is a registry charting open access mandates and policies adopted by universities, research institutions and research funders. The Directory of Open Access Repositories, OpenDOAR, offers a list of open publication archives, among others

Sherpa/Romeo logo

In SHERPA/RoMEO you can check scientific journals' and publishers' copyright policies and approach to self-archiving. The service is maintained by Nottingham University.  Publishers' and magazines' position on parallel publishing is shown with colour codes

ROMEO colour - Archiving policy

green - can archive pre-print and post-print or publisher's version/PDF
blue - can archive post-print (i.e. final draft post-refereeing) or publisher's version/PDF
yellow - can archive pre-print (i.e. pre-refereeing)
white  - archiving not formally supported


Most publishers (78%) allow some level of parallel publishing.

Scams in open access publishing

Some publishers may have dubious publishing motives. These so-called vanity publishers or predatory publishers use researchers by collecting publishing fees without peer reviewing the publications. Such publishers send out lots of enticing junk mail offers to get scientists to do all the work for them while they are only interested in money.  

It is important to thoroughly familiarize yourself with the open access journal in which you intend to publish your article. The scientific community discusses extensively with publishers on the net and it's worthwhile to do a simple Google search and check ongoing discussions on the matter. See also:

Saavutettavuusseloste Tillgänglighetsutlåtande