Journal of Cytology

: 2017  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 234--235

Open access and other challenges of Present Day Journal Publishing

Nadeem Tanveer 
 Department of Pathology, University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Nadeem Tanveer
Department of Pathology, University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 095

How to cite this article:
Tanveer N. Open access and other challenges of Present Day Journal Publishing.J Cytol 2017;34:234-235

How to cite this URL:
Tanveer N. Open access and other challenges of Present Day Journal Publishing. J Cytol [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Mar 3 ];34:234-235
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“Publish or perish” is the modern-day adage for all researchers and medical teachers. Career advancement, respect among peers and juniors, or just the joy of seeing one's name in print are all drivers for present day rush for publications. No wonder the number of journals and publishers has multiplied over the last decade. Is this good from the viewpoint of scientific advancement?

Scientific growth in any discipline is dependent upon free sharing of ideas without any restrictions or bias. A truly democratic set up would allow all findings including negative results to be published freely and shared between researchers, lay persons, enthusiasts, teachers, and students. The online mode of publication has indeed made this possible. It has resulted in more interdisciplinary collaboration as information on diverse topics is available on the click of a mouse. The only barrier to this is the cost of publication. The other barrier is elitism among top journals.

Two oft repeated terms in the world of publishing are predatory journals and open access publishing. Open access means a shift from the conventional subscription-based model of journal publishing. The onus for paying for publication is shifted to the author or research funding agency or author's institution.[1] It is widely assumed that open access publications have higher visibility which translates to more citations. However, it also opens up the possibility of abuse by predatory journals which have no peer review systems in place. These journals do more harm than good by merely web hosting content which is not reviewed and make money at the cost of the author. It is imperative that young researchers and faculty are adequately informed about these.

Jeffery Beall, a University of Colorado librarian who listed the potential, possible, probable predatory journals and publishers at his website recently discontinued his controversial site. However, it is not difficult to identify a predatory journal. They promise a very quick time between submission and publication making a proper peer review almost impossible, use fake impact factors, and there is usually a lack of transparency regarding the location of the headquarter of the publisher. They send spam mails to authors praising them for their previous work.[2],[3]

Open Access Mega Journals (OAMJ) is a relatively recent phenomenon driven by a school of thought which favors publishing everything as long as it is technically sound. Four key characteristics of OAMJs are-large size, broad scope, Gold OA business model and a peer review policy that focuses only on scientific soundness of research.[4] This “author pays” model does not allow novelty or significance of the article to come in the way of its publication. F1000Research is one such open access initiative which publishes signed referee reviews alongside each article. All articles published are accompanied by data on which the reported results are based.

In conclusion, the key challenge for medical journal publishing today is to encourage and support open access without falling into the trap of predatory publishing.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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2Manca A, Cugusi L, Dragone D, Deriu F. Predatory journals: Prevention better than cure? J Neurol Sci 2016;370:161.
3Beall J. Best practices for scholarly authors in the age of predatory journals. Ann R Coll Surg Engl 2016;98:77-9.
4Wakelin S, Willett P, Creaser C, Fry J, Pinfield S, Spezi V. Open-Access Mega-Journals: A Bibliometric Profile. PLoS One 2016;11:e0165359.