When choosing a scientific open access journal to publish in, a researcher is chiefly guided by the quality of the journal. To assess the quality of an open access journal, researchers may consider the following points:
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.
Open access journals with an impact factor are covered by Web of Science and Scopus.
Very often open access journals are new and therefore don't have an impact factor yet. Because of that, initiatives have recently been started to develop other quality criteria for open access journals.
Quality Open Access Market (QOAM) points to transparency of the peer review process as an important criterion. QOAM publishes Valuation Scorecards, which allows authors to share their experiences with scientific journals. With these cards libraries provide an opinion on the transparency of the websites of open access and hybrid journals. QOAM contains 23.000 journals and 7.300 Basic Score Cards and 2600 Valuated Score cards as of October 2016.
More information in the Frequently asked questions.
Think Check Submit is a fairly new campaign website to help researchers identify trusted journals for their research. It is a simple checklist researchers can use to assess the credentials of a journal or publisher.
Some 'publishers' and journals have attempted to exploit the business model of open access publishing by charging large fees to authors without providing the proper editorial and publishing services associated with more established and legitimate journals. Until January 2017, the list was available at Jeffrey Beall's blog, who has been curating this for years. The blog has been removed and the list of these so called predatory publishers can only be accessed as web archive. Note: this list will not be updated anymore. We advise to avoid these 'publishers' at all times.
Dutch National website providing information for academics about the advantages of open access to publicly financed research