The prospective authors of scholarly works can decide on their journal choice after drafting their manuscripts and before submitting their manuscripts to suitable journals. Various tools are available to scientific researchers while taking their publishing decision. Some of the tools or aids to authors’ publishing decisions are described in Table 5. Except the JCR on Web, which is a subscription-based product available with the Web of Science (WoS), all other tools are freely available. These tools have global coverage, covering journals published from every corner of the world. Authors may take their publishing decision based on subjective judgement after consulting some of these tools. Of late, OA journals are under attack from various sources due to their perceived poor quality. There are many OA journal publishers which are using the power of the Web to accept research papers of dubious nature on payment of Article Processing Charges (APC) ranging from 50 USD to 3000 USD. So, the Eindhoven University of Technology31 suggest its researchers to answerfour questions to decide the quality of OA journal: 

  • Is the journal listed in DOAJ32
  • Is the journal listed in Web of Science33
  • Is the journal listed in Thomson Reuters' Journal Citation Report34, due to an impact factor? 
  • Is the publisher of the journal a member of OASPA35?

Jeffrey Beall maintains a website that lists potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access journals36 and publishers37 to alert researchers. Beall also provides “Criteria for Determining Predatory Open-Access Publishers”38, which is reproduced here.

2.4.1 Directory of Open Access Journals

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), launched in 2003 by the Lund University in Sweden, is a searchable multidisciplinary directory of open access scholarly journals. In addition to providing detailed information about 9,740 scholarly journals, DOAJ is also searchable at article level for about 5,621 journals as in March 2014. In its Aims & Scope statement elaborates “The aim of the DOAJ is to increase the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific and scholarly journals, thereby promoting their increased usage and impact. The DOAJ aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use a quality control system to guarantee the content. In short, the DOAJ aims to be the one-stop shop for users of open access journals.” DOAJ is closely connected with the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) and other professional bodies for ensuring inclusion of scientific and scholarly journals in this directory that meet high quality standards by exercising peer review or editorial quality control. 

2.4.2 BASE43 (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine)

The BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine), launched in 2004, is one of the world's most voluminous search engines especially for academic open access web resources. BASE is operated by Bielefeld University Library in Germany. BASE covers all major OA journals, hybrid journals publishing OA articles, OA books, electronic theses & dissertations (ETD), open research data, and OA institutional & disciplinary knowledge repositories. Its coverage is global, covering 2,909 content sources as in March 2014. However, its number of content sources is still fewer than DOAJ’s article level searchable database. Figure 1 shows you the homepage of BASE search engine, which is helping retrieval and knowledge discovery of OA scholarly contents using multilingual interface covering seven European languages, namely English, French, German, Spanish, Polish, Greek and Russian. It also maintains a searchable directory of content sources that may help you in identifying your publishing venue for your forthcoming research papers.

2.4.3 SciELO – Scientific Electronic Library Online

The Scientific Electronic Library Online44, popularly known as SciELO, is a programme of the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) launched in 1998, for the cooperative publishing of open access journals on the Internet. SciELO initially received technical support from the Latin America and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME/PAHO/WHO). Since 2002, the Project is also supported by the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). Since its launching, the SciELO publishing model was progressively adopted by national research institutions of Ibero-American countries and South Africa comprising the SciELO Network. Now it hosts peer-reviewed scientific literature originated from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and South Africa. SciELO is one of the earliest initiatives in the global South to provide open access to scientific literature. The SciELO.br website secured first position in category of Top Portals in 14th edition of the Ranking Web of Repositories. Members in the SciELO Network, responsible for content creation and aggregation in its portal SciELO.org, are drawn from 16 countries Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Spain, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Venezuela, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and West Indies. As in March 2014, SciELO hosts about 1,148 journals in all major disciplines of science, social sciences and humanities. SciELO produces a large amount of valuable scientific contents generated and published by journals from emerging regions, such as Latin America, the Caribbean and South Africa. SciELO’s multilingual global portal helps in making its resources visible and accessible globally. Very recently the SciELO has entered into a collaboration agreement with Thomson Reuters to develop a new product titled ‘SciELO Citation Index’, based on resources available with SciELO portal. SciELO Citation Index has been a part of Thomson Reuters’ Web of Knowledge database and available from 2014. SciELO will continually publish and host open access journals and its full-text contents will be linked from the SciELO Citation Index. SciELO maintains a few bibliometric indicators based on citation indicators and other metrics. When integrated with SciELO Citation Index, their indicators will be enriched and will be very useful for more analytical evaluation of research originated from the Latin America.

2.4.4 Redalyc.org

The Redalyc.org is an online multidisciplinary scientific information system and open access platform for sharing scientific literature published from the Latin America and the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal. It is also a network of scientific journals from the Ibero-American group of nations. The motto of this online platform is “Open access to the world scientific production in Ibero-American journals”. Its slogan is “Science that is not seen does not exist” to outreach scientific literature published in journals in this region to worldwide scientific communities. This slogan comes out to deal with the poor representation of scientists and their scientific contributions from this region in mainstream scientific databases and citation indexes. The Redalyc project started in October 2002 and presently hosted by Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México (UAEM) of Mexico. Presently this portal provides open access to contents from 885 scientific journals published in 15 Ibero-American countries, namely, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Spain, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela. This portal fully embraces open access and its material is released under a Creative Commons license and is free to download. Majority of the full-text papers, available with this portal, are written in either Spanish or Portuguese language. This portal also provides abstracts of papers in English, Spanish and Portuguese languages. The portal also hosts a special collection named CLACSO45, supported by the Latin American Council of Social Sciences, covering full-text contents of 63 journals in social sciences, arts and humanities disciplines. The portal generates certain indicators and usage statistics that measure citations and usage of archived papers in this platform. This portal has different searching and navigation options for easy retrieval of archived documents from its databases. 

2.4.5 Latindex

While SciELO.org and Redalyc.org are open access platforms for peer-reviewed journals, Latindex.org is an open access bibliographic database aiding access to peer-reviewed journals and other scholarly materials published from Latin American region, Spain and Portugal. Latindex46 is the result of cooperation of a network of institutions that work in a coordinated manner to collect and disseminate bibliographic information on scientific periodicals produced in the region. Latindex’s Directory covers about 22,500 journals including 5,721 electronic journals and about 7,500 book titles or conference proceedings. This database is updated daily. Latindex includes scholarly resources from the Central America, South America, Latin America, Caribbeans, Ibero-America and Iberian Peninsula in all subject areas covering STM, arts & humanities and social sciences disciplines.

2.4.6 African Journals Online

The African Journals Online47 (AJOL), launched in 2004 as an electronic journal gateway to host full-text contents of different peer-reviewed scholarly journals, published by multiple publishers from African region. This is a collaborative effort of journal publishers, research councils and learned societies, promoted by the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) through its Journals Online (JOL) project. Over the time, it becomes the world's largest and well-known collection of peer-reviewed African-published scholarly journals. This gateway greatly increases the journals' accessibility to researchers and educators around the globe – particularly intra-region and also inter-region, thus making the research works useful to a wider audience. This aggregation also helps in crosscutting academic disciplines in a larger context to support discourses in multidisciplinary and trans-disciplinary subject areas within the region. Table 6provides indicative list of e-journal gateways established out of INASP’s intervening Journals Online (JOL) project using the open source software PKP Open Journal Systems (OJS). INASP also helps in capacity development of non-profit academic publishers in developing countries in launching e-journal gateways for their respective country or a region.

Last modified: Monday, 19 April 2021, 11:27 AM