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Does an open access publication have to cost so much?  A study of departmental publication patters in order to recommend high quality - low cost alternative open access journals.

The data associated with this publication are available at: Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Poster presentation at the Western Group on Educational Affairs (WGEA) 2019 meeting in Reno, NV. March 29, 2019.

The growth in the number of open access (OA) medical journals as well as the adoption of an open access philosophy can present challenges for authors when publishers’ average Author Processing Charge (APC) is $2,500 and climbing. Studies indicate that OA journals increase an articles views, use, and influence. Libraries are investing in OA in a number of ways including special memberships or subscriptions. Some OA journals have questionable characteristics which can make the choice of OA journal confusing especially with issues of quality, visibility, or impact.  With the growing number of scholarly concentration programs in medical schools publishing and related issues like OA becomes increasing more relevant.

The project: Find open access journals with low to no APC that are high quality (based on COPE and DOAJ qualifications) in the subject areas where faculty publish and are comparable to the journals in their current CV.

The design: Create a master list of departmental publications using tools such as Web of Science, PubMed, and Dimensions to identify the publications where faculty publish and the impact factors of the predominantly used publications.  Using additional tools such as DOAJ and others, identify alternative comparable publications.

This study looked at the publishing practices the clinical faculty in one department at a R1 university. We hope to make this process scalable and flexible enough to use across disciplines and departments at any institution.

Outcomes: Raise the awareness of quality low-cost APC journals that are comparable to traditionally published journals.  Creation of master list of departmental publications to use for the comparison.

Innovation’s strengths & limitation: Basing the study on a small department makes it a manageable project but limits its broad applicability to all fields of medicine or medical education.

Feasibility & generalizability: Because clinical disciplines frequently publish in similar journals, the resulting list of quality OA journals will raise awareness of such journals for a wide variety of clinical disciplines.

Link to methodology graphic:

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