Publishing the Open Access Way: Increase Your Impact!

128px-open_access_logo_plos_transparent-svgIf you’ve been following our Open Access Week blog series, you now have an overview of Open Access at Emory and why faculty should use OpenEmory, Emory’s open access repository of faculty scholarship. Do you wonder how you might get started publishing your scholarship open access? Today, we’ll explore how to identify and evaluate open access journals which may be a good venue for you to make your scholarship available to a global audience and how broad availability can increase the impact of your research.

Not sure where to find an open access journal? The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a great place to start. The DOAJ is a membership organization that requires its members follow the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. While membership in the DOAJ isn’t a guarantee of a journal’s quality, it is worth noting when you evaluate an open access journal. And don’t forget that your subject librarian, health sciences informationist, or the Scholarly Communications Office team will be happy to help you find a journal that works for you!

Publishing your scholarship open access need not be complicated. Whether you publish a journal article open access or not, you will consider carefully in which journal to publish. Part of selecting a journal is evaluating its quality and fit for the topic of your article. Think. Check. Submit provides a check list and helpful questions to guide you when choosing a journal.

The Scholarly Communications Office can assist you with more than just locating an appropriate open access journal. If you choose to publish open access, we encourage you to take advantage of the Emory Open Access Publishing Fund administered by our team. This fund of last resort helps Emory University faculty, post-docs, researchers, and currently enrolled students offset costs associated with publishing open access articles (or books). However, it does not fund articles resulting from grant funded research. Sharing the data underlying your article in an open repository too? Data deposit costs may be offset with the data archiving supplement to an Open Access Fund request.

By publishing open access, you can increase the impact of your work. Your work is no longer trapped behind a paywall, restricted to the institutions or individuals who can afford journal subscriptions. Gunther Eysenbach (2006) found that articles published open access in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) were twice as likely to be cited within 4-10 months compared to non-OA journals published in the same journal. The citation advantage increased to almost 3:1 when calculated 10-16 months after publication. Studies continue to confirm that “open publications get more citations” (McKiernan et al., 2016, p. 1).


Figure 1 from McKiernan et al. eLife 2016;5:e16800. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.16800 distributed under a CC-BY license.

The increased impact for OA publications goes beyond the citation count or your h-index – it’s also evident in alternative metrics, or “altmetrics.” Altmetrics capture public interest as well as overall impact. They measure how many times your work has been viewed, downloaded, tweeted about, shared on social media, bookmarked, or discussed in a blog post or news story. While citations take a while to accumulate, altmetrics give you real time data on the influence of your work, and unlike an impact factor, which reflects citations for a journal as a measure of quality, the altmetrics are specific for your article. There are lots of tools you can use to track alternative metrics for your work, like Impactstory and

orcid_128x128To make sure that you always get credit for your work, you can link all your research outputs to your ORCID® iD. ORCID iDs are unique, persistent identifiers for individuals – a bit like a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) for a researcher. They distinguish you from researchers with similar names, and your ORCID iD will stay the same even if you change your name. Additionally, many funders and journals, such as the US Department of Transportation and Hindawi, are now requiring ORCID iDs for submissions. Don’t have an ORCID iD? It’s quick and easy to sign up at

Have questions? Feel free to email the Scholarly Communications Office at scholcomm [at] listserv [dot] cc [dot] emory [dot] edu.

Other blog posts in the OA Week 2016 series

Open Access at Emory

Eight Good Reasons Why Emory Faculty Authors Should Use OpenEmory

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