Making a Firm Decision: “Traditional vs. Open Access Journals”

We all know that making good choices in terms of academics and scientific career is the key to success. Research writing and publications compliment the career of a scientist or an academician. Moreover, publications in reputed (high impact factor) and peer-reviewed journals produces global recognition to their contribution towards the scientific community.

Selecting an appropriate journal to publish your invaluable contribution is the major step in disseminating your research findings. The research ought to be published in the right journal for reaching the target audience with desired impact. However, many researchers struggle to make the right choice while selecting a journal as they get confused between Open access and Traditional Journals. The decision also becomes difficult while considering the journal’s performance (range and impact on audience), cost of publication (Submission charges and Article processing charges) and duration of publication process.

Traditional Journal vs. Open Access Journals: Based on the different factors

Traditional Journals

Traditional journals are those which generally do not levy any fee on authors or contributors for scientific publication. These journals are funded by subscriptions and advertisements and hence, the readers are charged for accessing or downloading any content in the journal.

The comparison between the traditional and open access journals suggests that the traditional journals possess higher reputation as they are not new to the experts in the field and association with reputed institutions and medical centres. However, higher reputation does not mean that it will reach broader audience. Because of high subscription charges for the readers, the content remains exclusive for specific mass and this is also the reason for not receiving desired number of citations after the introduction of Open Access journals.

The traditional journal charges per page for the printed versions which may vary based on the number of colour figures. However, for read only service the readers need to subscribe to the journal with subscription charges ranging from $100 per individual to $50,000 for institutions.

The traditional journal generally takes around 4-6 months for the quality checking and peer review process. The delay in the process is because of the number of articles received and their pending physical printings and distributions.

Open Access

“Open Access” is the idea and practice that created a movement which enabled the journals to provide complete barrier-free and cost-free access to the readers. Providing free access means that the readers can read, download, copy (with prior acknowledgement), share and print the online information available in form of articles.

Based on the different factors for making the appropriate choice, open access is changing the landscape of the research industry and has returned scholarly publishing to its original purpose of “spreading knowledge without any barrier”.

Publishing in open access journals provides greater visibility as it reaches broader audience without any fee. However, as no publication is without any fee, the author is responsible to pay the Submission charges and Article processing charges. Generally, the fees range between $50-$5000 based on the impact and reputation of the journals.

Most of the researchers opt for open access as they may not be popular in their field as, open access circulates the articles to a wider audience using different platforms to reach different researchers in the field worldwide. That is why, most of the traditional journals have now adopted the “Open Access Policy” either completely (full open access) or partially (hybrid open access).

Scientific publication represents the reputation of the researcher and hence the faster you publish the greater is the competitive edge they receive over other competitors. Most importantly, the researcher who gets published first receives the credit for the idea and the manuscript. Open access journals significantly reduce the time of publication with rapid peer review process. However, some researchers doubt the quality of the process and also consider this process as fake.

Role of ManuscriptEdit in helping you to make the correct choice

You might have now understood the pros and cons of each type of journals, but you still might not be completely sure about your choice.

The selection of the journal (whether open access or traditional) should be based on one’s requirement and hence, ManuscriptEdit provides a “Journal Selection Report” service which is prepared by considering the quality, scope and novelty of the manuscript. However, the author can also share their recommendations on the basis of different criteria such as the impact factor, reputation, indexing and cost which needs to be covered. We understand the effort that has been put to produce a quality research paper and hence, we guide the authors to make the right selection for getting the article published in desired journal.

Is it necessary to publish papers to obtain your PhD?

Publishing paper would be cherry on pie to build an academic career. Publication is a prerequisite for obtaining your PhD. A well-known phrase “Publish or perish” justifies this statement. Although it sounds dulcet, you need to take utmost care at every single step. If you are wondering, how to achieve your goal, here are a couple of points to ease your muddle.

Research

The first step to achieve your goal should focus on deep research about various papers, journals, publishers. This will help you to pick up the appropriate decision. The lack of research may end up selecting an inappropriate journal which may throw you in the backward direction of your goal. Hence, it is advisable to do thorough research before jumping into a conclusion.

Quality over Quantity

It is said, “Quality takes time but reduces the quantity”. You should spend time developing significant research agendas rather than spending more time scrambling to publish whatever you can get. For example, 1 research paper with novel findings and own interpretation can scoot over 10 review papers. So, don’t rush up on writing more papers as there is no guarantee that writing 10 papers would award you with your degree.

Face your fear

As a beginner, it is obvious to be anxious about the result. However, keep in mind that, “Failure always leads to greater achievements”. Keep yourself calm and composed and don’t force yourself to implant negative thinks.  These negative thinking will divert you to take the decision of writing it with a co-author. I am not against this statement but this decision might affect you in a later state.

 Be ready

No one in this world is perfect so don’t let your ego come in between achieving your goal. You should be confident enough about your research paper. It is better if you could make it proofread by someone to pick up the flaws prior to submission. Several companies are there which provide such services thereby helping you completing the research error-free.

Manage your emotions  

It is quite necessary to manage the time from the beginning with great patience as you had to research all the details minutely within the stipulated time. You can also seek the help of your guide to review it and suggest you with certain actions.

Conclusion

Obtaining PhD through publication is not only an option available for doctoral candidates. In order to achieve your goal, you must work hard and present strong research with novel findings. The candidate who easily accepts the flaws and decodes it further in their work will go a long way.

Copyright Myths vs. Facts

The objective of copyright law is to provide a legal framework to assure creators of original work that their artistic talent is fairly rewarded and protected.

The advancement in technology and the Internet has made it much easier for works to be created, published, and copied as well. With increasing digital content, there are many misconceptions regarding the copyright law circulating online. This is an attempt to clarify the myths and facts associated with copyright law.

Copyright covers a wide range of creations that include literary works, artistic works, development software, computer programs, movies, music, etc. There is a myth that one can copy or republish a particular content as long as credit is given to the original owner. But the fact is that the exclusive right to copy content belongs to the owner of the copyright only and no one is entitled to reuse a work in any way unless an explicit permission is obtained from the owner.

It is also assumed that content published online becomes public property as it is in the public domain and it diminishes copyright protection on it. But the fact is that the authors have exclusive right on the published content, so other users should take measures to confirm ownership of the content before publication.

There is a third misconception that any work that doesn’t bear the copyright notice or tag is open to be reused. However, copyright exists in a work from the moment the content is recorded in any fixed and observable form. Non-display of the copyright note does not confer any permission on anyone to reuse that work.

Another area of uncertainty is regarding derivative works. The fact is that such works are still covered by copyright. It is believed that if one modifies or partly uses someone else’s work, it doesn’t breach the copyright law. On the contrary, it is only treated as a ‘fair use’ when a person accesses the work just as a reference.

There is another gray area related to the financial gain from the protected content. It is presumed that a person can use another person’s work if there is no financial gain or profit from it. But in reality, copying someone else’s work is a breach of copyright law, and money is not a consideration in that case.

Many myths persist about fair use, which is an essential right that allows the use of copyrighted material under certain circumstances. Therefore, while creating, sharing, and consuming media on the Internet may be easier than ever before, copyright regulations are still in force and must be respected.

Advantages of sharing your work

research sharing

To make your work stand out and enable it to reach large audience, you must be willing to share your research and your findings. This will help your research receive more attention in the fraternity and prompt new thoughts and advancements in the particular field of research. Read on to discover the best methods for sharing your work at each stage of production.

In the pre-submission stage

The proverb with preprints is “whenever, wherever”! You are allowed to share your preprints on any platform, whenever you want. Once your article is published, you are required to link the preprint to the formal publication by means of the article’s digital object identifier (DOI). Such links will enable your readers to access, cite, and utilize the best variant of your work. However, preprints should not be added to or upgraded in any way to make it a substitute for the previous forms of your articles.

After acceptance

Regarding accepted manuscripts, the golden rule is that you can share your research openly after the journals’ embargo time frame. You can quickly store your acknowledged manuscript copy in your establishment’s storehouse for inward use and then sit tight for the ban time frame to elapse before everybody can access it. In this process of sharing, you need to provide a link to the formal production through the DOI. Furthermore, the paper you share should bear a CC-BY-NC-ND permit.

At last, as with preprints, the paper must not be added to or upgraded in any capacity to make it a substitute for the distributed journal article.

After Publication

The approaches for sharing published journal articles (PJAs) differ for membership and open access articles, so you must ensure that the method is in keeping with the kind of article you are distributing.

If your article is a membership article, you can share the article or the links to the article through email, social media, own blog/website for non-commercial and internal purposes. The more links there are to your article from significant sources, more readers you’ll draw in and the higher it will show up in internet search results. In case your article is distributed open access, anybody can peruse your article. The reuse permit you select will decide how others can reuse your article and where you can post it.

Understanding the Structure and Purpose of Systematic Reviews

Defining systematic review:

A systematic review is a well-planned literature review that basically answers a focused research problem, with pre-defined inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Steps involved in systematic review:

The first step involved in drafting a systematic review is identification of the REAL research problem. For this you need to search for valid literatures dealing with your subject area and locate the research gaps in those studies. This will assist you in devising an appropriate research question. In general, researchers use the PICO framework to define the question scope. Its anatomic parts are as follows:

P-Problem/Population

I-Intervention

C-Comparison, and

O-Outcome

The second step involves setting the inclusion and exclusion criteria that will further determine which studies are you going to include in the systematic review. Here are few parameters that are taken into consideration while zeroing down on a relevant study:

– Population

– Study design

– Type of intervention

– Grouping

– Outcomes of the study, and so on.

Thirdly, you need to carry out the real work of spotting out those inclusive studies by taking help of databases, such as online libraries, online searches, and so on. Then simply insert this retrieved information into a reference manager, such as EndNote, Cite This For Me, Reference Generator, and so on.

The next approach will be to extract data from these studies by using a tool, software or excel sheet. This will assist the researcher in evaluating the study bias if any. For this, you can use a risk of bias tool, such as Cochrane tool, for assessment of potential study or sample bias.

Finally, the results have to be presented along with the methodology section, which includes the criteria of selection, strategies, and so on. A meta-analysis is done, if necessary. Future recommendations can also be cited in this section, regarding any change in the policy or clinical/non-clinical practice.

In this blog, we have tried to summarize the complete process of writing a systematic review in a uncomplicated manner, and along with this, we have also tried to explain the quality elements included in each step of systematic review.

Self-Archiving: A path to greater citation

As subscription and open access publication charges skyrocket, self-archiving has become the sought after mode for gaining high citations for research paper. This method of archiving allows the works of researchers to reach out to maximum number of people- peers in the research fraternity and also the common people. This helps maximize research impact by guaranteeing open access to all, regardless of their ability to pay.

What is self-archiving?

It is the practice of putting digital versions of scientific literature online making it freely available on the Internet for everyone to view. In other words, self-archiving makes your research widely visible, accessible, searchable, and useable, thereby increasing its reach and impact, and in the processing increasing the number of citations it receives.

When to self-archive?

Research paper can be self-archived either before the peer review process commences or after it has been peer reviewed and published.

Version of the paper printed before the peer review process begins is known as pre-print. Whereas refereed post-print is that version of the paper which is printed after the paper has been reviewed and published. All versions of papers available online are referred to as e-prints.

Where to self-archive?

Research articles can be self-archived in electronic repositories or on personal servers.

  • Institutional repositories: Many universities provide scholars from their institutions to upload there research online for their peers to have free access to their work.
  • Subject-based repositories: Some online repositories are subject specific and are every popular in that subject area. For example, PubMed for biomedical studies; arXiv most popularly for physics, mathematics, and computer science.
  • Personal servers: Researchers upload their work on their personal web pages or some social networking sites specially created for researchers like ResearchGate.

There are two ways of self-archiving- green open access and gold open access. Most journals now days are providing authors these methods to help them increase citations of their work. Self-archiving is considered the future of archiving of paper where the authors as well as readers can without paying exorbitant price share as well as access researches and get information about the latest development happening.

APA style: Author names

The American Psychological Association mainly developed the APA Style CENTRAL for academic institutions. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association APA (American Psychological Association) is most commonly used citation style used within the social sciences. This APA Citation Guide, revised according to the sixth edition of the APA manual, presents the standard format for in-text citations and the reference page. The APA style is most popular and used by many writers across the globe because it is simple and concise in comparison to the other style guides.

APA style has a number of key rules for using author names as part of the author-date system. Here are some common examples:

In-text citation

A Work by Two Authors: When citing a work by two authors, the APA style suggests naming both authors in the signal phrase or in the parentheses each time at all appearances in the text. The word “and” should be used between the authors’ names within the text and ampersand”&” must be used when the author names appear within the parentheses.

 

For instance: Study conducted by Rosemary and Paul (1997) supports…

(Rosemary & Paul, 1997)

References styling

The last names and initials must be used and the ampersand instead of “and.”

Paul, D. T., & Soll, R. E. (1996).Title of the study. Journal of XXXXX, 66, 1034-1048.

In-text citation

A Work by Three to Five Authors: The APA style requires that the authors be listed in the signal phrase or in parentheses on the first time the source is cited in the text. When cited in the text, the word “and” should be used between the authors’ names and ampersand should be used when cited within the  parentheses.

For instance: (Paul, Cornell, Soll, Springer, & Harlow, 2016)

In subsequent citations, only the first author’s last name followed by “et al.” should be mentioned in the signal phrase or in parentheses. the et al should never be followed by a period.

For instance: (Paul et al, 2016)

References styling

List by last names and initials. Commas must be used to separate author names and  the last author name is preceded again by ampersand.

Paul, M. H., Cornell, D. P., Soll, C. R., Mohanty, A., Harlow, T., & Bill, J. S. (1996). Title of the study. Journal of XXXX, 62, 1170-1304.

In-text citation

A work by Six or More Authors: Mention the first author’s name followed by et al. in the signal phrase or in parentheses.

For instance: Paul et al. (2001) argued…

(Paul et al., 2001)

References styling

List by last names and initials and commas must be used to separate author names. After the name of the sixth author, ellipses must be inserted in place of the author names. Then provide the name of the final author is written.

Kohli, F. H., Choi, M. J., Kaur, L. L., Desai, A. A., Sterling, J. A., Thomas, S. T., . . . Paul, L. H. (2009). Title of the study. Journal name, 57, 323-335.