I know this question may be seen as off-topic here or too trivial but nonetheless I would really like to know the answer. I am in an unique position-unlike most researchers I practically don't care about the impact factor I just want to get my work publish as easy as possible and available for as many people as possible but want it to go through the peer-review process. So what will be better, to go through the "standard"(pay-per-view journals)or the online free of charge(for both parties)ones?

If impact factor isn't the key which is better(and/or faster)-going through the big publishing houses who have a "well-oiled machine" and can handle my request with routine and speed or risking in the online-only free-of-charge community?

I know may be I will have problems for that but I think nevertheless I need to tell it. My topic is something quite out of "the mainstream" but I have been working on it for years and I have diverted a lot of from what is "standard" for this community so I am pretty much a lonely wolf and expect enormous troubles going through the peer-review(radical ideas). So what will be easy for me-the pay-per-view or free-of-charge online journals? Can you reflect on that?

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    This is sort of an XY problem. The business model of the journal should not be your main concern when selecting a journal. In your case, you want to make your work widely available and peer reviewed; those are separate goals that can be reached separate ways. Also your question is a mess. Feb 27, 2017 at 6:08
  • Not sure about easiness but the open pub might well be quicker. Feb 27, 2017 at 8:15
  • What else do you want me to tell you? I tried asking my full question-about the ideas I have, the problems I am working on, the results I got, the impact I expect them to have, but even the least I could tell was "wiped out" by the administration who told me I "shopping" something. I have big problems concerning both my work and how to present it but I don't want to brake any rules here by telling you all I am working on and the problems I expect. I don't know how specific can I get on this site? Any advice? Feb 27, 2017 at 16:06

2 Answers 2


From your question I deduce that you would like to reach maximal impact (within the target audience). So you want your article to be easily accessible, but at the same time be conveyed through a medium that reinforces trust (hence the interest in peer review) and impact.

The former can be reached by making sure that your ideas are accessible without any (substantial) barrier. You might reach this by submitting a pre-print version to an open online venue, such as arXiv (provided that this does not conflict with the requirements of e.g. a prospective journal).

Then there is the impact aspect. Being published in a respected scientific journal may help to get serious attention from the scientific community, but also adds lead time and the chance of being rejected in the peer review process. Many publishers of top-tier journals also offer open access for an additional fee. You might draw even more attention if you send out a press release after you have been published.

  • Nope, it is actually quite the opposite-I worked on the edge for a long long time-away from anything and anyone in science(actually this is not true because I had connections to colleagues scientists and philosophers in my home university and I got advice from a few renowned scientists internationally, but the point is my ideas weren't excepted anywhere-I just asked for their opinion and they gave me literature do I didn't have to spend money to get their works but it isn't like I collaborated with them or they with me). But back then I really didn't care as my work was incomplete and I felt l Feb 27, 2017 at 16:13
  • it needed more time and effort. I walked out both from the scientific community and from academic jobs in every way and worked jobs having nothing to do with science or my education. However, I kept on working in my free time and continued "filling" what I perceived were "gaps" in my university research so I can extend it to the point where I can propose experimenatably verifiable results suited for a project. When I started I had great problems deriving such experimentally verifiable results and science is driven by experiments, so a simple explanationary science wasn't viewed by people in my Feb 27, 2017 at 16:19
  • university as something worth funding. I needed to derive more results I could publish and on their base propose some research project I can verify. At the beginning when I left the university I had a nice starting point but virtually no good research I could propose to make the case my paradigm is correct-the only thing I could do was to explain results derived by others and touch on questions already well established in my community(my community is virology and the question I am talking about is "Does virus evolution has its limits, how they are determined and does evolution makes them alive Feb 27, 2017 at 16:23
  • But my peers told me Are viruses alive isn't a question of biology, but of philosophy so they sent me to the philosophy department and told me there wasn't any interest in research about the limits of the capability of a virus to evolve that time. I however didn't backed down or changed my research interests(I had the option but I left it)because I just saw the ability to "crack" the question if I managed to work a better theory of what Life is and how it evolves. I just knew viruses are ideal for such research because if there is something we can test evolution on, it is virus. This is how it Feb 27, 2017 at 16:27
  • started but not what it became out of it. The more I delved deeper and deeper on the relationship between philosophy and biology and on the impact of the definition of Life throughout the Life sciences the more I understood it wasn't about viruses any more. Their evolution was just a part of something bigger-a pattern repeating itself throughout Life and not only it-the "evolution" of technology, of social systems like the free market, social movements, political parties, even empires I saw in the same way-an increase in either complexity or diversity ruled by their ability to choose to sp Feb 27, 2017 at 16:32

You seem to be conflating two things, namely whether a journal is online and whether it is open access. I'll focus on the open access part of the question, since whether there's a print edition is basically irrelevant nowadays.

So what will be better, to go through the "standard" (pay-per-view paper journals) or the online free of charge ones?

"Better" is not well defined, but in this case the situation is simple enough that the question can be answered: neither one is better, outside of a couple of specific factors.

Open access journals have one advantage, that anyone can easily read the official published paper, and one possible disadvantage, that there might be publication charges. Other than that, there is no significant difference between open access and traditional journals, at least among respectable journals. There are tremendous differences between specific journals (in prestige, rigor of the review process, speed of publication, etc.), but these things simply can't be predicted on the basis of whether the journal is open access.

I said "among respectable journals" in the previous paragraph for a reason. There are tons of obscure, predatory open access journals that will publish anything for a fee. (They often claim to perform peer review, but it's clear from the garbage they publish that the review process is meaningless. This problem is restricted to open access journals, because you can't make money selling subscriptions to a journal nobody wants to read.) You should absolutely avoid predatory journals, since they will actively hurt your paper's reputation.

If impact factor isn't the key which is better(and faster)-going through the big publishing houses who have a "well-oiled machine" and can handle my request with routine and speed or risking in the online-only community?

You are oversimplifying things by supposing that big publishers have a well-oiled machine. Some do and some don't, and the same holds for small publishers. Furthermore, some open access journals are published by big publishers, and some subscription journals are published by small publishers.

My topic is something quite radical I have been working on it for years now and I have diverted a lot of what is "standard" for this community so I am pretty much a lonely wolf and expect enormous troubles going through the peer-review(radical ideas). So what will be easy for me-the paper or the online journals?

If the difficulty is with peer review, then you can't expect an easy time with any journal worth publishing in (i.e., a non-predatory journal).

  • Correctly criticizing the question isn't an answer. Feb 27, 2017 at 7:56
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    @AnonymousPhysicist I read this answer as trying to extract answerable questions, and answering those. Feb 27, 2017 at 8:44
  • I think I've given an answer to the question as written (namely, that neither one is better except in the ways I've indicated). I'll edit to clarify. Feb 27, 2017 at 13:32

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