I am really promoting the use of real open access journals to publish, and of course I try to do it as well, but that was not (and maybe it is still not) an easy task. So I put here some of my experiences, in case it can help someone:
- International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications (IJACSA). I realized later that the reputation of this journal was not good. But, I did read nice papers from this journal, and the paper I published there has many citations, so nothing to be worried about. However, when I did submit there, the reviewers had only the choice between “accept”/”minor revision”/”reject” (no “major revision”) and thus I feel it is not good/fair, but things have maybe changed since.
- Scientific Programming Journal, Hindawi. The scope of the journal was perfect for the paper I wanted to submit, and thus I did publish there. The review process was good and fair. But the price was a little too much (even if the price is based on the country cost of life). So, no regret, but I do not think I will use it again.
- PeerJ Computer Science. Well, if you look at my publications you will see that I appreciate this journal. There are many reasons for that (1) it is not (so) expensive, and even propose a subscription for life (with a contagion system) (2) it is really open access (the papers are under creative commons CC BY 4.0) (3) the reviewers can put their names, and I think sometimes that quite interesting, especially when a paper extends someone else work who can be officially marked as a reviewer (4) with PeerJ it is possible to publish the review history, and this is simply great for a real “open” journal (5) PeerJ supports the addition of extra files, like results, codes, etc. and even makes sure that the authors share what is needed for minimum reproducibility (6) This is fast as the reviewers have 2 months to review (I guess). What is great with that, it that reviewers who accept to review are usually motivated and available to do a fair and decent review (from what I have seen so far), and are not some busy overflow persons that could delay a review to more than a year (yes, that happens). But the authors must provide a list of possible reviewers (which, I guess makes the life much easier for the editors).
In my opinion, researchers should make the effort to follow the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment, and remember that “The Journal Impact Factor, as calculated by Thomson Reuters*, was originally created as a tool to help librarians identify journals to purchase, not as a measure of the scientific quality of research in an article.” https://sfdora.org/read/
Obviously, that is not easy to “test” a journal, who wants to invest in a publication and realize later that the reputation is not good. But I feel that many criticisms against many journals are more ignorance than anything else. For instance, I heard that “World Scientific” was a predator journal/editor, but as discussed here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:World_Scientific this editor is simply not well known but seems respectful. Moreover, relying on a famous classical editor to claim that the journal is good is not the way to go. For instance, some Springer journals failed at the Bohannon test (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predatory_publishing#Bohannon). I have read good papers in IJACSA and I did see weird papers in famous journals, etc. So I guess one could check a list such as https://predatoryjournals.com/publishers/, but when you do not know a journal do not claim something else :D