Simplifying the Open Access Publishing Process

By Caroline Campbell on Mar 5, 2021

As an author, a major concern when publishing your research is ensuring that your article receives increased visibility and discoverability. One method to ensure that your article can be widely accessible is by publishing under open access (OA). As you may know, many publishers are now enhancing their OA offerings. This includes IGI Global, who recently converted 32 of their journals to OA. There are various benefits for publishing under OA, but when you are publishing under OA there are unique challenges for authors. To learn how to overcome these challenges and set your manuscript apart from the competition, please find below insights from IGI Global’s expert Editorial Team.

What Is Open Access and the Types of OA?

“Open access (OA) refers to freely available, digital, online information. OA scholarly literature is free of charge and often carries less restrictive copyright and licensing barriers than traditionally published works, for both the users and the authors.” (Cornell University)

OA describes any number of publications, including journals and books, that are published under a licensing agreement that provides the research contained within them at no cost to the reader. Most frequently, when you publish under OA, your research is published under a creative commons license, which, depending on the type of license and the stipulations it carries, allows the copyright to remain with the author and the research to be used freely. The most common of these is the CC BY license, which enables anyone to read, redistribute, adapt, and build upon the article, even for commercial use, as long as they cite it. This is a benefit to the author as their research is freely and immediately available to the entire academic community, versus traditional publishing methods where their research is locked behind a paywall. Due to the ability to be able to freely share OA research, OA content has up to an 89% higher download rate, an increased citation impact, higher recognition, as well as increased indexing potential.There are various forms or models of OA access in which research can be published. This includes:

  • Green OA: When an article is published under the traditional publishing model, but researchers are allowed to share their article with their institution’s repository and in some cases a subject repository, it is considered Green OA. Under this model, the publisher owns the copyright to the work, and authors are not allowed to distribute the full content beyond what the publisher has specifically allowed.  All of IGI Global’s traditional books and journals are published under this model enabling authors to share their research with their institution’s repository. View IGI Global’s Fair Use Policy to learn more.

  • Hybrid OA: This model provides the authors with the option to publish their manuscript as OA or under the standard/traditional subscription-based If the author chooses OA, they will pay an article processing charge (APC) to cover the costs of publishing the research, and once published, the article will become freely accessible. If the author chooses traditional publishing, the article will be published behind a paywall and must be purchased to be used. Currently, IGI Global offers over 145+ scholarly journals under this initiative to provide IGI Global authors flexibility in publishing under OA. View all of the journals that operate under hybrid OA that are seeking submissions through our Call for Papers webpage.

  • Gold OA: This model entails that all content within a journal or a book must be fully published under OA. This means that all articles and chapters published will be published under OA and be freely available to the academic community upon its’ release. Similar to the model above, all contributors will pay an article process charge (APC) that will cover the costs of publishing the research and the copyright will belong to the author. Currently, we offer 32 journals that are published under Gold OA, including journals that are indexed by the Web of Science and Scopus. View all IGI Global Gold OA journals.

  • Platinum/Diamond OA: This type of OA is a subset of the Gold OA model, as it operates under the same requirements, meaning that all content is fully OA and immediately accessible upon publication. However, journals and books published under this model do not have an APC because the publication has another source of revenue that covers the cost of publishing. Most often that revenue is being provided by external funding from a specific academic institution, society, government grant, etc. to cover the cost of having the resource be published under OA. This means that contributors and authors that submit work to the journal and are accepted do not have to pay an APC to have their work published under OA. As an example of a platinum/diamond OA journal, IGI Global offers the International Journal of Translation, Interpretation, and Applied Linguistics (IJTIAL), which is funded by Shandong University (Weihai), China. Through this funding, all OA APCs are waived.

The main benefit of utilizing OA publishing is avoiding a paywall in order to access the content within various journals and publications. However, publishers using this model do still have costs they have to pay when processing submissions and running their organizations. To help cover some of these costs, authors pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) when their work is submitted and accepted into an OA publication. This APC goes toward covering the costs of the entire publishing process (manuscript submission, peer review, copyediting, proofreading, online publication, print, and delivery, etc.).

What are the Challenges in Publishing Under Open Access (OA)?


However, before you even entertain paying an APC, your article needs to be accepted into an OA journal and due to the increased benefits of publishing under OA, authors can face numerous challenges, including:

Increased Competition and Higher Rejection Rates: 

OA journals statistically have a higher competition rate, as many authors seek to increase the visibility of their research. This coupled with the fact that many OA journals are featured in prestigious indices, including Web of Science and Scopus, means that OA journals can have up to an 80% rejection rate, making it difficult for authors to get their research published under OA.

Due to this increased competition, authors need to ensure that their article not only meets the publisher’s guidelines before submission but stands out from the competition in terms of quality and content. As such, it is critical that authors utilize professional services, like IGI Global Author Services, to have their work professionally copyedited and even reviewed by a qualified expert in their field to ensure that their manuscript has significance in the field.  

Expedited Publishing Process and Review Times: 

When a journal is published under OA, it is no longer published in a specific issue, which accelerates the publishing process of manuscripts. Through IGI Global’s OA process, each of the articles undergo the same process as all of our book and journal projects, including a double-blind peer review process. Although this is great for the author to ensure that their research is published in a timely fashion, it can also make it difficult for them to meet the deadlines and complete the revisions during the peer review process.

Additionally, although the publishing process is accelerated many authors can still face the “endless peer review queue” where they receive continual revisions from reviewers, just to be faced with a rejection from the editor.

Article Process Charges and Funding: 

Once work is submitted and accepted into an OA publication, authors will need to pay an OA APC. As stated above, this OA APC covers the cost of all the resources utilized by the publisher to publish your article. This includes:

  • Digital tools used to support the manuscript management and review process.
  • Typesetting, formatting, and layout
  • Online hosting
  • Submission of the journal’s content to numerous abstracts, directories, and indexes
  • Third-party software (e.g. plagiarism checks)
  • Editorial support such as manuscript tracking, communications, submission guideline checks, and communications with authors and reviewers.
  • All promotional support and activities include metadata distribution, press releases, promotional communications, web content, ads, flyers, brochures, postcards, etc. for the journal and its published contents.
  • And more.

OA APCs can vary based on publisher and be between US$ 700-US$ 10,000 based on the journal’s prestige. If the author does not have funding to publish under OA, this can cause issues on enabling researchers the ability to publish under OA.

Moreover, while many institutions are setting aside OA funds for their faculty, just as many have not yet progressed toward this movement and/or awareness of those funds among faculty is minimal. Finding funding and ensuring that the journal aligns with the funder’s mandates can be just as difficult.

How to Overcome the Challenges in Publishing Under OA

Although there are many benefits from publishing under OA, the challenges listed above can hinder many researchers. One of the best ways to overcome the challenges is to have your work professionally copyedited and proofread, as well as scientifically reviewed before it is submitted. By having your work copyedited and reviewed, you can streamline the publishing process by avoiding the endless peer review process and increasing your chances of conditional acceptance into an OA journal.

To assist authors in these challenges, IGI Global offers these services, including Copyediting and Proofreading through our Author Services. Through utilizing this high-quality service, authors can receive the following benefits:

  • Competitively priced (as low as US$ 0.06/word)
  • Adhering to hundreds of publishers’ guidelines.
  • All Editors native English-speakers
  • All Editors have a combined 70 years of experience.
  • Thousands of Papers Edited since 2015.  
  • All edits are presented via Microsoft Track Changes.
  • Certificate of completion presented with a satisfaction guarantee.
  • Expedited Turnaround Time on Each Service as low as One-Day Returns
  • APA 7th edition, MLA, APA, Chicago style, and more.
  • Cohesive writing style for multi-authored manuscripts.

We can also package the above service with our Scientific and Scholarly Editing to receive a preliminary peer review from a Ph.D.-level expert in their field, increasing the chance for conditional acceptances and mitigating the endless peer review process. To ensure that these services are affordable, when authors utilize these services and their work gets accepted into an IGI Global journal (following the peer review process), the cost associated with that service will be deducted from the APC, providing the author additional savings, and ensuring that the work published is of the utmost quality.

In addition to these services that will assist authors potentially receiving conditional acceptances and streamline their publishing process, we offer various funding programs, including:

  • IGI Global’s OA Fee Waiver Initiative:  For any library that invests in IGI Global's InfoSci® Databases, IGI Global will match the library's investment with a fund of equal value to go toward subsidizing the Open Access APCs for their patrons. This provides authors with 100% OA subsidies to be utilized toward any IGI Global journal. Learn More

  • Discounted Open Access APCs for Low- and Middle-Income Countries:  For authors from low- and middle-income countries, IGI Global automatically waives 100% or 50% of journal APCs depending on the author's affiliated country. View Eligible Countries and Learn More.

  • Assistance on Finding Journal Funding Sources: Additionally, our Open Access Team can collaborate with outside funding sources, including institutions, governmental organizations, etc. in transforming current Gold OA journals into Platinum or Diamond journals. Contact IGI Global at for more information.

  • OA Facilitation Services: New journal finding services are starting to take into account OA publishing and can make it easier for authors to find relevant journals based not only on their topic, but also on whether their institution has a special discount or waiver programs with that journal and whether the journal complies with the specific funding source that they are using. One such service is ChronosHub, which is currently working to make parts of its hub public and free to use. Other OA funding resources that provide information on country funding and OA standards include:
    • Sherpa Juliet  is a searchable database of research funders' OA policies.
    • The Open Access Directory maintains a list of institutional funds for OA publishing.
    • SPARC  maintains a list of North American universities and university libraries with OA funds.

For more information on IGI Global OA publishing opportunities, or questions regarding IGI Global’s Author Services, please contact IGI Global’s Open Access Team at

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About IGI Global:  Founded in 1988, IGI Global, an international academic publisher, is committed to producing the highest quality research (as an active full member of the Committee on Publication Ethics “COPE”) and ensuring the timely dissemination of innovative research findings through an expeditious and technologically advanced publishing processes. Through their commitment to supporting the research community ahead of profitability, and taking a chance on virtually untapped topic coverage, IGI Global has been able to collaborate with over 100,000+ researchers from some of the most prominent research institutions around the world to publish the most emerging, peer-reviewed research across 350+ topics in 11 subject areas including business, computer science, education, engineering, social sciences, and more. To learn more about IGI Global, click here.

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Caroline Campbell
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(717) 533-8845, ext. 144

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