OA is a new publishing model that provides free and unrestricted online access to scholarly publications and research data. This makes it easier to share your publications and collaborate with others. Certain granting agencies and funding sources require that you make your research accessible either through publishing in an open access journal or self-archiving in an open access repository.
The best place to find a reputable, peer-reviewed open access journal is through the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). This is a quality-controlled directory that journals have to apply to in order to be included on the list. The directory can be searched by subject, country, license, or publication charges. While this list is not exhaustive, it is the most comprehensive resource for find an open access journal.
Some examples of open access publishers:
"Predatory open-access publishers are those that unprofessionally exploit the gold open-access model for their own profit. That is to say, they operate as scholarly vanity presses and publish articles in exchange for the author fee. They are characterized by various level of deception and lack of transparency in their operations. For example, some publishers may misrepresent their location, stating New York instead of Nigeria, or they may claim a stringent peer-review where none really exists."
- Jeffrey Beall, quoted in Elliott, C. (2012, June 5). On Predatory Publishers a QA With Jeffrey Bealls. Retrieved December 06, 2016, from http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/brainstorm/on-predatory-publishers-a-qa-with-jeffrey-beall/47667.
When choosing to publish in OA journals, it is important to ensure that the journal you choose is a reputable scholarly journal and not one of the ones considered "predatory".
Steps to Avoid Predatory Publishers
Authors hold the copyright on their works until they sign it over to a publisher. When signing a copyright transfer agreement form, authors can use the resources below to modify the agreement and retain certain rights to their work:
SPARC Guide to Author Rights/SPARC Author Addendum - This guide by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition gives an introduction to author rights and provides a form that you can use to modify a publication agreement to retain more rights to your work.
Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine - The Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine will help you generate a form that you can attach to a journal's copyright agreement to ensure that you retain certain rights.
Charges for publishing articles, including costs of publishing in an open access journal, can be included in funding applications as costs of the dissemination of research results.
Charges for OA publishing vary. In order to estimate the costs for your budget, check SHERPA/RoMEO for a list of paid OA options, and also verify the article processing charge on a journal's website.