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Open Access to Journal Literature: A Guide

What is open access? This guide includes evidence-based public health resources, grey literature, free full text journal articles ("open access"), domestic access and more.

Where to Publish Case Reports

Finding Appropriate Journals

Have you recently written a paper, but you're not sure to which journal you should submit it? Start here: 

Instructions to Authors in the Health Sciences

Open Access

Open Access journals are journals that provide free access to their content online. Open Access journals are peer-reviewed just as Toll Access (subscription) journals are but they use business models that do not require users to pay for access to the content.

Some journals that are open access are primarily for profit and require authors to pay fees for publishing. Determine if the journal/s require peer review prior to paying a publishing fee. Check to see if the articles in the publications are indexed by major databases. Do the journals published have impact factors or other indicators of quality, such as the published articles being cited by others in the discipline?

Open Access Controversy: Predatory Publishing - Beware!

The quality of medical literature is increasingly threatened by irresponsible publishing, leading to rising retraction rates, irreproducible results, and a flood of inconsequential publications that distract readers from more meaningful scholarship. "Predatory publishers" offer rapid publication with loose peer review, exploiting a system in which faculty seek longer bibliographies to achieve academic promotion.  --  Predatory Publishing: An Emerging Threat to the Medical Literature. Acad Med. 2017 Feb;92(2):150-151

Locating Refereed (Peer-Reviewed) journals in Ulrichsweb.com

 Ulrichsweb referred icon

Ulrichsweb.com (Ulrich's Periodical Directory) may be used to identify "scholarly" journals.   The icon of the referee's shirt indicates that the journal is peer-reviewed. If the icon is not present, the journal is not peer-reviewed. "As used in the Ulrich's knowledgebase, the term refereed is applied to a journal that has been peer-reviewed. Refereed serials include articles that have been reviewed by experts and respected researchers in specific fields of study including the sciences, technology, the social sciences, and arts and humanities."

Limiting to peer-reviewed articles in Ebsco

CINAHL with peer-reviewed limit

The peer review process:  Prior to publication, other scholars in the field critically assess a draft of the article. Peer-reviewed journals (also called refereed journals) only publish articles that have passed through this review process.

Some online databases offer options to locate peer-reviewed journals:

•You may limit your search to "peer-reviewed"
•You may be offered an option to select scholarly articles after you conduct your basic search

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