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Where you Publish Matters!

Table of Contents

What is Open Access Publishing and what are the benefits?

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  • Open Access is when publications are freely available online to readers at no cost. 
  • Increased citation and usage. As articles are freely and permanently available online immediately upon publication they have a broader distribution and increased visibility over subscription content.
  • Easy compliance with institutional and funder mandates. Content published under a Creative Commons liscence can be archived anywhere and made immediately available on publication, allowing authors to easily comply with funder requirements.
  • Retention of copyright by the authors.
  • Faster impact as work is available to all as soon as it is published. Research that builds on the paper can be carried out and published quicker. 
  • Greater public engagement as those without institutional subscriptions can access latest research. Especially valuable for especially when content affects the general public (e.g. patient groups).

Article Processing Charges

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Publishing is not without costs. Subscription journals recoup the costs of publication by charging a fee to access the content. As Open Access content is freely available, the costs are defrayed through Article Processing Charges (APCs).

The APC covers:

  • Editorial work: peer review, administrative support, commissioning content, journal development.
  • Technical infrastructure and innovation: development, maintenance and operation of online journal system and websites.
  • Production of articles: formatting and mark-up of articles and inclusion in indexing services.
  • Marketing of journal and content: making sure readers and authors know about the work published in the title.
  • Customer service: responding to authors and readers.

APCs at BMC

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The full list of article processing charges for BMC can be found here.

Who is responsible for paying the APC?  The authors are typically responsible for paying the APC, however partial or complete waivers are available:

For a full list of countries with waivers see here

How to detect predatory journals

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Predatory journals are exploitative Open Access academic publishing businesses which charge an APC without providing any editorial or publishing services.  Often this takes the form of publishing manuscripts without peer review.

Why not publish? You research won’t reach your target audience because it won’t be trusted.

How to spot a predatory journal:

  • Do your colleagues know the journal?
  • Can you easily identify and contact the publisher?
  • Is the journal clear about its method of peer-review?
  • Is it clear what fees will be charged and what they will be used for?
  • Do you recognize the Editorial Board?

Case Study: How to detect predatory journals

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New Content ItemBelow is an example predatory journal webpage.

For this next exercise please look at the example page and identify:


1. Anything suspicious about the journal home page?
2. What information is missing?

New Content Item

For answers click here