Editor’s Note: Today we are pleased to bring you the following post from guest blogger, Sarah Norris, Scholarly Communications Librarian at UCF. Sarah is the University Libraries’ resident expert in all things related to scholarly communication and open access outreach efforts. You can find out more about Sarah, including her contact information, on the UCF Libraries page.
The 9th Annual International Open Access Week will take place October 24-30, 2016. But what is Open Access? How does it apply to you? In this post, we will look at what Open Access is and how you can advocate for Open Access publishing options as authors and use Open Access materials as researchers.
It’s a new year and perhaps your goal this year is to get that manuscript that’s been collecting virtual dust on your desktop published—finally! Figuring out where to start can be daunting. But think of it this way: the hardest part—writing the paper—is already done! So you’re already ¾ of the way there. Fear not, we are here with a new series on our blog called “Getting Published.” We’ll be here to guide you through the process of going from manuscript to publication that you can actually add to your CV.
So you have a paper written. Where do you publish it? The first decision you need to make is whether to publish in an Open Access journal or a traditional publication. For more information on Open Access, check our blog posts here and here.
If you’ve decided to go the traditional route, there are several venues you can use to find the perfect journal for you. Start with thinking about the main points of your manuscript, and if you haven’t already done so, come up with three to five keywords that best describe your paper. Once you have those, it will be easier to narrow down a journal. Let’s look at some options to find your perfect journal.
October 19 – 25 is Open Access Week 2015! This is a global event promoting the open access “to information – the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need…”
October 20-26, 2014 was Open Access Week, a global effort, now in its eighth year, to promote the free, immediate, online access to scholarly knowledge. Open Access is the practice of making published scholarly research available online for free. To further this end, there are many open access journals in existence to which authors could consider submitting their work.
Authors can participate in open access by either submitting their work to an open access repository (known as the “green” path to open access) like PubMed Central, or by publishing in an open access journal (known as the “gold” path to open access). Some of these journals charge authors a fee in order to publish their work. Some of these fees can be outrageously high, as publishers try to take advantage of authors wanting to make their work available. The blog, Scholarly Open Access, has compiled a list of such so-called predatory publishers. A list of inclusion criteria is also provided.
Authors should be wary when submitting their work of publishers who, among other things:
- depend on author fees as their own means of operating and sustaining their journal;
- do not identify a formal editorial or review board;
- provide no academic information regarding the editor, editorial staff, and/or review board;
- are not listed in standard periodical directories or library databases;
- publish journals that are too broad – often done to attract a greater number of articles and thus bring in more revenue through author fees;
- do minimal or no copyediting.
Always thoroughly investigate any publisher and/or journal, along with their editorial process, scope, reviews, reputation, and impact factor, before deciding whether or not to submit your work.
The Health Sciences Library recently had the privilege of adding a special new resource to its electronic journal collection – The Medical Student Press Journal, an ambitious creation of the student run Medical Student Press (MSPress). From their website:
“The Medical Student Press provides robust editorial services and multiple online platforms for the publishing projects of medical students. We aim to improve the reach and quality of medical students’ scholarly publications on a global scale.”
Medical students from across the country and world make up the executive team, editorial staff, and blogging staff of MSPress, including 4 of our own (now second-year) medical students; Gabriel Glaun, Aryan Sarparast, Sami Saikaly, and Angela DelPrete.
The journal publishes on a semiannual basis, and accepts a variety of submissions, from honor theses excerpts to creative writing pieces. All submissions are peer-reviewed, and the journal itself is an open-access publication. Volume 1 Number 1 of The Medical Student Press Journal became available in June, and includes an interview conducted by Gabriel, and a research article by third-year student Paul Adedoyin.
You can access The Medical Student Press Journal by visiting their journal website, or by visiting our library website and clicking the link on the front page under “E-Journals” that says “MSPress”.You can also visit the E-Journals page on our website and search by title for “The Medical Student Press Journal” or “MSPress”, as well as by subject for “Medicine” or “Medical Student Journals” to find a link.
Congrats to the students involved! We hope to showcase more student work on our website in the future.