|Traditional Publication||Open-Access Publication|
|Advantages Low cost to authors: publication costs are borne by readers and subscribers. High esteem: high-impact and successful journals are subscribed to by many readers, are often the most highly regarded, and can often bear the costs of publication independently.||Advantages Greater readership: anyone who is interested can read an open-access article. This can result in more citations, resulting in higher impact, both for journals (Impact Factor), and authors (Author Impact Factor).|
|Disadvantages Limited readership compared to open-access. This may result in fewer citations, and important research being less widely known.||Disadvantages High cost to authors, who must pay publication and other fees. Authors must be careful to distinguish between authentic scientific journals and predatory journals, as their financial models are similar.|
Public Service Announcement: Beware of predatory journals!As stated, most reputable journals charge an article processing fee for publication, to cover administrative costs (e.g., proofreaders) and distribution costs (e.g., physical media). What’s more, it’s common to charge more for open-access papers: journals lose money from subscription revenue, so they have to make up the difference somehow. However, some pay-to-publish journals lift the strict peer review standards of peer-reviewed journals. Basically, they’ll publish for a fee. This is the academic world’s version of what’s known as a “vanity press”, a publisher whose target market is the author themselves. Many scientists are disgusted with this trend. There’s no filter for bad science, they say. You can tell their disgust from the language they use to describe them: “bogus journals”, “predatory journals”, etc.
Worried about the reputation of your target journal? Consult Beall’s List, an annually updated list of predatory publishers and stand-alone journals to get some peace of mind: https://scholarlyoa.com/2016/01/05/bealls-list-of-predatory-publishers-2016/