Open access journals are the primary means of making articles available in gold open access. Access to such articles is free of charge and available worldwide immediately upon publication of the journal without any further restrictions.
Articles in journals that meet this definition are usually published under a free license granted by the authors.
The main difference to non-open-access journals lies in this free accessibility and usability of the contributions; beyond that, open-access journals are little different from other journals. The articles are first publications and usually go through the same quality assurance process that closed-access works go through, usually in the form of peer review or editorial review.
The content of open access journals is open for databases (e.g. Scopus, Web of Science) and search engines.
Despite some differences between journal and book publications, the issues that writers have to clarify are similar: openness, publication fees, re-publishing opportunities in a repository. Many publishers offer corresponding options.
Projects such as Open Access Publishing in European Networks (OAPEN) or Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) record open access books and facilitate accessibility.
Flohr, R., Richter, S. & Siegert, O. (2021). Third-Party Material in Open Access Monographs: How Far-Reaching is the Creative Commons Licence Really?
Open access journals suffer from the prejudice of having worse impact factors compared to subscription journals, though some high-ranking open access journals have established themselves on the market.
It is advisable to check the impact factor of an individual publication in advance. Using the keyword “altmetrics” in search engines, you can find comprehensive information concerning the evaluation of scientific performance using alternative bibliometric key data.
In the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) you can find open access journals whose articles have undergone a quality assurance process. The German Research Foundation (DFG) has joined the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS) to support the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
"The DFG considers the sustainability of essential infrastructures for open access to be crucial for the future. The DOAJ has proven to be a very useful tool not only for scientists and libraries, but also for funding organizations and infrastructure providers. We welcome the transparent and sustainable development of the DOAJ in the interest of the public." Angela Holzer (DFG).
(Source: Helmholtz Open Science Newsletter, 18.07.2018, German only)