Is there any compulsory rule for researchers to have publications in restricted access publication platforms? What if one has majority of his publications in open access journals?

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    No, there is no such rule.
    – JeffE
    Commented May 20, 2012 at 18:08
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    Of course, there's no absolute rule; the more interesting question to me is: "What are the implications for your career if you ethically object to closed access journals and choose to only publish in open access journals?" In many cases, this will require you to submit to lower prestige journals. In what cases is this price worth paying? How can you minimise any detrimental effects on your career? If you find this interesting too, feel free to edit question to incorporate. Commented May 21, 2012 at 5:40
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    Such an ethical stand requires you to submit to fewer journals, not necessarily to worse journals.
    – JeffE
    Commented May 21, 2012 at 8:12
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    @JeffE I guess it depends on the field as to whether at present good open-access options exist. Commented May 22, 2012 at 0:51
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    @JeffE: creating a new journal to publish in is not an option for most people, so Jeromy Anglim's point stands. Commented Jul 13, 2012 at 6:39

3 Answers 3


No. The important point is whether the journals are good (= publish good papers) rather whether the access is open or restricted. This being said, in many fields AFAIK the better journals are access-restricted.

  • 17
    However it's important to distinguish between real journals and the many vanity presses masquerading as journals.
    – Henry
    Commented May 20, 2012 at 21:01
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    It also may be important to see where the particular journals are indexed; e.g. for our grant funding publications generally "don't count" unless they're in Scopus/web of science/etc; and the open access journals I see in my area aren't included.
    – Peteris
    Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 2:59
  • The first part of the answer is great. The second one is just an opinion with no grounds: you might want to be more specific, or it can't be considered valid, I think.
    – FraEnrico
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 7:08

I see this question is old and has been answered, but I would like to add that the accepted answer by Alexander is really just an opinion, and in my opinion, there can be disadvantages for publishing in open access journals. I'm not arguing against open access, but the disadvantages should be mentioned and taken into consideration.

The biggest disadvantage, in my opinion, is that some people consider open access journals to be a dumping ground for mediocre or crap science. These may or may not be the same people who are reviewing your CV or tenure. This may or may not be more true at older, more prestigious institutions, and/or older, stuck-in-their-ways scientists/academics. Some people even consider publishing in open access as career suicide.

With all that being said, I am a fan of open access, and think science should be accessible to everyone. "What if one has majority of his publications on open access journals?" I plan to publish my next manuscript in open access, but I will limit it to just one for awhile. Having the majority of publications in open access may throw up a red flag to some people. Of course, others may appreciate more open access publications. I am PhD student, and need more 1st author publications, but I don't want too many open access journals on my CV (for now).

Other things you might want to consider when choosing a journal:

  • Cost is a major concern, and is one of the biggest reasons why I will go open access with the next paper.
  • Impact factor is another reason. Many open access journals have a large readership and high impact factor, which is good. However, impact factor should not be your main goal.
  • Citations should be your biggest concern. It's not enough for people to read your papers, you need them to cite you. And for that to happen, you need to have quality science and writing. Although a high impact factor may help with that.
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    Do these disadvantages also apply to open access journals that the scientific community considers good journals? I would be very surprised if they do.
    – Sverre
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 16:57
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    Can you provide some citation to this "scientific community" you reference and the definition of a "good journal"? The link I referenced (in regards to career suicide) was about publishing in PLoS ONE, one of the largest, perhaps most prominent open access journals (that I'm aware of). As I clearly stated in my answer, these disadvantages may or may not apply to the scientific community as whole, or may be individual perceptions. Can you vouch for every member of the "scientific community"? I have a feeling you are in for a very big surprise.
    – derelict
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 17:24
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    Considering publishing in PLoS ONE to be career suicide is completely different from saying the same about open access publishing. This is a debate about the quality and reputation of journals, not about their copyright policies (for example, PLoS Biology has a better reputation than PLoS ONE). In many fields there are OA journals with excellent reputations. Of course you have to check what's true for the journals you are considering publishing in, but that's no different from any other journal. (Every field has a wide range of garbage-to-mediocre journals, both closed and open access.) Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 18:07
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    @SoliSciGuy: Yes, but the converse view is equally true: Some people/institutions/fields strongly prefer open-access journals. In those fields, there is a serious disadvantage to publishing in a closed-access journal. Said differently, your observation isn't about open-access journals at all, but about a particular journal (PLOS One) that just happens to be open-access.
    – JeffE
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 21:45
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    Your observation "Some people even consider publishing in open access as career suicide." was an improper generalization of someone else's discussion of PLOS One, which has oother (and arguably more significant) distinguishing features besides its subscription model. Your opinion is, of course, your opinion, and you're welcome to it, but I'd hardly call that link supporting data.
    – JeffE
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 1:12

Some funding agencies require to publish in open-access journals, or at least strongly encourage it. For example, I am funded by a funding agency that strongly encourages to do so. Unfortunately, in many fields, there simply aren't any high-quality open-access journals around.

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