Some academics are still sometimes concerned that publishing in an Open Access journal may not have the same kudos as a subscription journal with a high impact factor. But now, following Willets’ speech to the publishers last week, there is speculation that the Research Councils will consider making open access part of the “excellence criteria for qualifying articles” for REF post-2014. (See article in THES)
Of course, following the “Gold Route” (i.e. author pays model), we can see that often these open access journals can have high impact factors and the fact that they are freely available may increase the number of citations to articles. Journal Impact Factors are, after all, based upon the number of citations to articles published by a journal. The BiomedCentral stable of journals are all building good reputations and impact factors.
And, if authors follow the “Green Route” (self-archiving in an institutional or subject repository), they can publish in a subscription journal but still make their research outputs publicly available so long as they do so within the terms set by the publisher – or negotiated between the author and publisher.