Impact Factors demonstrate Open Access quality

FACTORIt is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single journal in possession of a good impact factor must not be in want of good papers. In fact, we know that the impact factor does not tell the whole story about quality and that many scientists and institutions would like to find better ways to evaluate the quality of research output.

Nevertheless, it is an inescapable fact that around the world, the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) continues to be used as a proxy for quality, and the JIF continues to influence decisions on funding, promotions, and where to publish.

So it is no wonder that publishers, including BioMed Central, are  interested to see where our journals sit within the most recent Journal Citation Report (JCR).

There continues to be debate about the quality of open access journals, but the 2013 Journal Citation Report knocks that debate squarely on the head with many open access journals now routinely in the top of  their categories.

At BioMed Central, 50 of our journals are now in the top 25% of their category, and of these 20 journals are in the top 10. (You can see the breakdown here). As we have been saying for years, it is the quality of the articles submitted, and the authors, editors and peer review practices associated with the journal, which influence its quality, not the business model.

In 2011, one of the findings of the European Commission-funded Study of Open Access Publishing (SOAP), was that the two main factors slowing the move to open access were the availability of funding and the scarcity of quality open access journals in which to publish. Stuart Shieber presented very eloquently on this subject at the final symposium of the project.

Funding issues are now being addressed all around the world with new policies and mandates, such as those from the European Commission, UK Research Councils, and the Chineses Academy of Sciences. With this, and with more and more quality open access journals for researchers to publish in, it seems we can look forward to the continuing transition to a more open world of published research.

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