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Evaluating Journal Quality — OA Openness Tools

A guide to the tools and methods for evaluating the quality of scholarly journals. Intended for authors, editors and reviewers.

Open Access "Openness" Tools

Open Access "Openness" Tools help authors, readers, editors and reviewers understand how "open" a journal is. Openness refers to the ways that authors and readers can make use of a work beyond just reading it. The possibilities are briefly described at the link The 5 R's of Open, below, from BC Campus Open Ed. How Open Is It?, provides a rubric on determining what types of openness there are for journals and within each category the range of open. The Open Access Spectrum Evaluation Tool applies that rubric to more than 1000 existing journals, providing a numerical ranking for each title. Both tools are described below.

How Open Is It?

How Open Is It? is a guide for evaluating the openness of journals. The concept of open access covers a broad spectrum of potential rights and uses. This chart identifies the categories of of open and the degrees of openness withinin each. The categories are:

  • Reader Rights
  • ReUse Rights
  • Copyrights
  • Author Posting Rights
  • Automatic Posting
  • Machine Readability

This chart helps to dispel confusion about the different rights and uses and the coverage of those right by journals.The chart is from the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and is available in multiples languages.