And see the India-related list maintained by Scholars Without Borders (mostly science and medicine):
Saying that a journal is OA still leaves some critical questions unanswered. E.g.,
- Is there a "going in" fee, or Article Processing Fee (APF)?
One of the items in the list above charges $300. Several of the big houses like Brill, Elsevier and Springer will also publish your article as OA, even in an otherwise non-OA journal, if you pay them enough. Their APF prices are typically $3000 (Springer, Elsevier). I am not interested in including such journals in the list above, as I consider anything above $300-500 to be profiteering. APFs of $300-500 are typical of some even very large OA publishers like Hindawi, proving that this is a valid business model.
Quite apart from my personal view, I do not think APF fees of $3000 meet most people's normal expectation of the meaning of an Open Access journal. As South Asianists, we are interested in access for both readers and authors in countries where scholars are relatively poor. A high APF mutes less wealthy authors. As such, both Gratis OA and low or zero APFs are indexes of relevance.
- Copyright: being OA means that whoever owns the copyright has given permission for the article to be disseminated at zero cost. But it doesn't say anything about who owns the copyright of the article. Many OA journals allow the authors to retain copyright, but not all.
- Is the journal online-only, or both online and in print?
- The online version is free by definition, but the print issues would usually cost something. What?
- Is the journal indexed by the main global indexing services?
- Is the journal peer-reviewed? Strongly or weakly?
I'm putting some indicators in parentheses after the journal title, for those cases where I can find out the information without correspondence.
It is often hard to find out these facts from the journals' websites. This suggests to me that for some of the editors, the various business models of OA publishing are not always well understood.
*APF = Article Processing Fee, a fee that the publisher charges the author or the author's institution for publication in the Open Access journal. See discussion in Wikipedia (consulted 12 Feb 2012).