New Resource Aims To Provide Quality Insight Into OA Resources

Sian Harris | Research Information | April 24, 2014

Ever since the concept of open-access journals began gathering steam, the question of journal quality has been an issue for sceptics and advocates alike. It has become a normal part of our daily lives to delete emails inviting submissions to a new open-access journal with obscure origins and questionable relevance to the email recipient.

US librarian Jeffrey Beall does a thorough job of investigating and questioning such so-called predatory open-access journals and their publishers in his Scholarly Open Access blog. But what if you are not just looking for which journals to avoid but actively seeking insight into which open-access titles to publish in or read?

This is a question that the international ISSN network has increasingly found itself posed with. The network is made up of one international centre, created by UNESCO and the French government, and 88 national centres. Its role is to allocate unique ISO identifiers to serials to help people ensure that they are talking about the same publication. However, beyond rejecting some applications for ISSNs on very obvious factual grounds, it is not within the agency’s remit to assess journal quality.