Price Doesn't Always Buy Prestige In Open Access

Zoë Corbyn | Nature | January 22, 2013

Online comparison tool reveals which journals provide the biggest bang for the buck.

The open-access journals that charge the most aren't necessarily the most influential, an online interactive tool suggests. The freely accessible tool, launched earlier this month, shows that a journal's fees do not correlate particularly strongly with its influence, as measured by a citation-based index.

“We have brought together a way of measuring prestige and price and come up with a metric that can be used by authors to help them decide between the different venues they could publish in,” says Jevin West, a network-science and bibliometrics researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle. West led the development of the online tool as part of the Eigenfactor Project, which seeks alternative ways to rank and map science.

The “real goal”, West says, is to help to create a transparent market in open-access publishing. “We hope to clean up a little of the predatory publishing, where publishers might be charging more than their value merits.” The tool, called Cost Effectiveness for Open Access Journals, incorporates pricing and prestige information for 657 open-access journals indexed by Thomson Reuters, including 356 that do not charge any fees...