Quality Open Access Market

Quality Open Access Market (QOAM) is a website which invites authors to score journals, providing feedback on review and decision experiences in a central platform which can be referenced by all researchers.

The site was founded in 2012 by two volunteers, Leo Waaijers and Saskia de Vries, and has been growing steadily. There are currently 26,899 journals listed in the site, with varying numbers of comments and level of details.

The platform has the potential to respond to the demand for reviewing and rating journals in a way which can help authors select appropriate titles for their work, anticipate the review process they are about to face, and help in raising standards of peer review processes and editorial services by making authors experiences more visible and quantifiable.

Quality scoring of the journals in QOAM is based on academic crowd sourcing, and contributors must have recognised institutional email addresses to create an account. Contributors may provide free-text comment on their experience and score a journal based on a 1-5 rating on the following measures:

• The editor of the journal is responsive
• The peer review of the journal has added value
• I would recommend scholars to submit their work to this journal
• I would deem this journal good value for money

Individuals may submt only one score per journal, but this score may be returned to and updated to reflect subsequent experiences, should they differ.

Previous attempts by other groups to create such rating sites, such as Journalysis (which ceased in 2015 after 2 years of operation), have not been so successful, though SciRev remains an active, useful platform, and was updated with revised subject-area turnaround times and decisions statistics at the start of this year, based on a Scientometrics paper from 2017.

There is also a strong demand for clarity around the integrity of open access journals to help authors choose where to submit, and where to avoid. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Think Check Submit, Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) are some of the organisations providing great insight and guidance in this area, but requests for definitive journal blacklists persist. However, absolute statements defining problem journals remains elusive, and prove inconsistent in assessing the integrity of individual titles.

It could be possible that QOAM delivers a marketplace style review platform that allows authors to provide feedback which highlights, strengths and weknesses in the standards and services of journals in a truly useful fashion, and may become a permanent reference aid in the author toolkit.