When choosing a scientific open access journal to publish in, a researcher is chiefly guided by the quality of the journal. Some journals present themselves as bona fide open access journals, but turned out to be "predatory journals" that are looking for researchers' money to publish. They have given open access a bad reputation in the past. Nowadays there is a wide range of high-quality open access journals. To assess the quality of an open access journal, researchers may consider the following points:
The impact factor for the journals is stated in the Web of Science and Scopus. These scientific search systems only list journals with impact factors. Open access journals are sometimes not long enough to have an impact factor. Does an OA journal not exist in these systems? That does not mean that it is qualitatively below par. You can do further research in some other databases of information.
Peer review is at the basis of quality assurance of scholarly journals. All journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) exercise a form of peer-review or editorial quality control to guarantee the content. In 2014 DOAJ launched the DOAJ Seal. Journals can apply for this seal using the Journal Application Form. It is clearly visible in the magazines if they have the DOAJ Seal.
The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) refers to open access books on the websites of the publishers. These are peer reviewed books published under an open licence (mostly CC licences), so the books are 'free to read' and 'free to share'. January 2017 DOAB contains more than 33.000 books from over 400 publishers.
Quality Open Access Market (QOAM) provides transparent information about the quality. The Base Score Card provides information and an opinion about the publisher and the organization of the publication process. The way in which the peer review is arranged is an important criterion on which to assess. Qoam provides information about fully open access journals as well as hybrid journals, in which part of the articles become available in open access.
More information in the Frequently asked questions.
Think Check Submit is a relatively new initiative. The website does not offer lists, but it helps researchers to identify high-quality journals and avoid predatory magazines. Researchers can use a checklist to rate a journal or publisher.
Dutch National website providing information for academics about the advantages of open access to publicly financed research