You now know about preprints and the various types of Open Access, but how do you choose a journal and the right path for achieving Open Access? How do you determine the publishing fees, the so-called APC (Article Processing Charge), and what the preprint authorizations will be? What are the different ways to make your publications open?
Let us explore two use cases and paths to making your work openly available:
1. You want to publish in an Open Access journal, but have yet to determine which.
Open Access journals often charge APCs. TOSI offers an Open Access charge offset of $1500 per lab per year while funds are available. Please contact TOSI [at] mcgill.ca to enquire.
2. You want to publish in a specific journal, which either has no Open Access option, or you won't pay for the Article Processing Charge to make it Open Access.
As a McGill researcher or trainee, you can make most articles Open Access at no charge in the institutional eScholarship repository, in parallel with the published version (details below).
Case 1- You want to publish in an Open Access journal, but have yet to determine which.
1. Identify adequate Open Access journals for your work. The “Directory of Open Access Journals” (https://doaj.org)  can help you in choosing Open Access journals in your area(s) of interest, and lists each journal APCs and other relevant information.
- For example, searching for “neurology” returns more than 200 journals. Of those listed, 42 have the DOAJ seal, the mark of a journal that demonstrates the best practices in open access publishing.
2. Once you have narrowed down your list to two or three different journals, you may want to verify if the journal and publisher allow you to deposit a preprint (either the Submitted version, the Accepted version, or both), using the list of academic publishers by preprint policy or the Sherpa Romeo website  which lists preprints and Open Access policies by publisher and journal.
- Submitting to a preprint server will make your publication available faster (albeit in a non-peer-reviewed way). We all know that the submission and publication timeline can be quite long. Submitting to a preprint server can reduce that timeline by months or years.
Case 2- You want to publish in a specific journal (e.g., Lancet Neurology), and will not pay for the Open Access APC.
1. The Lancet Neurology (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laneur/home) is a journal where a number of Neuro scientists have published their work in recent years. Lancet Neurology is a Hybrid Journal. Hybrid Open Access journals contain a mix of Open Access articles and Closed Access articles . You can find this information on the Sherpa Romeo website.
2. Searching for The Lancet Neurology on Sherpa Romeo returns several pathways to make an article published in this journal Open Access. It is indicated that making the Published version Open Access on the publisher's website requires the payment of an APC. However, the publisher allows the Accepted version of the article to be Open Access in an institutional repository, at no charge.
- Embargo period: Sherpa Romeo further indicates that this publisher imposes NO embargo period between the publication date and the date at which the article can be available at an institutional repository. The embargo period varies from journal to journal, and you should verify whether it complies with your funders' Open Access policies.
- Preprint: Sherpa Romero also indicates whether an article submitted to this publisher can be deposited on a preprint server (most do).
3. Once the article is accepted for publication, request a copy of the Accepted version of the manuscript from the publisher and submit it to McGill's Institutional repository eScholarship@McGill  (see the link to the eScholarship online form).
- The McGill Library will accept your submission at the time it is accepted for publication and will hold it until that specific journal’s embargo period is over. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask the TOSI staff (tosi [at] mcgill.ca) or Jessica Lange (librarian specializing in Open Access), and Jennifer Innes (librarian specialized with the eScholarship Repository).
Once your manuscript is ready for submission to a journal, you can comply with The Neuro’s Open Science Principles and majors funders Open Access Policies by:
- Submitting your manuscript to an Open Access Gold journal (with or without an APC).
- Choosing a journal that is compatible with a preprint server.
- Submitting your finished manuscript to a preprint server.
- Submitting the Accepted version of the article to the McGill eScholarship repository (Green OA) if the published article is 'closed'.
The rise of APC-supported Open Access publishing has led to the emergence of so-called “predatory journals”. These journals will charge an APC but will not be subject to the normal publishing standards, such as high-quality peer review and editorial oversight. They offer what seems like an easy forum for publishing but only trick researchers into paying an APC. If you want to learn more about predatory publishing and how to avoid it, you can learn more here: https://www.mcgill.ca/library/services/open-access/illegitimate-journals
Other Helpful Contacts and Information
- If you have any questions about anything in this Document or Open Science in General, contact the TOSI help desk at tosi [at] mcgill.ca
- TOSI does maintain a limited fund to offset APCs. This TOSI support is limited to $1500 per lab (located at The Neuro) per year while funds are available. Please contact TOSI [at] mcgill.ca to enquire.
- McGill Libraries has negotiated discounts with numerous publishers that offer Bronze/Hybrid and Gold Open Access options. Visit this McGill Library webpage to see the list of journals offering discounts to McGill researchers (scroll to the bottom to find the list). This list and more information from the McGill Library about Open Access are available here: https://www.mcgill.ca/library/services/open-access/how.
- You can also contact the Library directly. Jessica Lange is a librarian specializing in Open Access, and Jennifer Innes can answer all McGill’s eScholarship Repository questions.
About this document
Unless otherwise indicated, all content on these pages is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0). Please attribute it to TOSI (the Tanenbaum Open Science Institute), this web page, and the contributors listed below.