In the field of consumer behaviour, a common theory that is followed my marketers is that consumers associate price with quality. Higher the price of the product, better its quality. It goes pretty well with the saying “we get for what we pay”. In the current trend followed in academia, open access journals are exorbitantly priced and it surely gets pocket pinching a lot of times for the researcher. Now the question is that, are these highly priced journals worth the kind of money that they charge:
With all the research that has taken place in this field to understand and evaluate that the worthiness of a journal can be attributed to its price, it has been understood that there is little or no association that exists between the two. It can so happen that some of the lowest priced journals may exhibit the highest quality and vice versa. So it is not a good idea to associate in any way, quality of a journal with its price. You may end up getting not much benefit out of it.
The bottom line to understand here and accept, if you are a novice researcher is that paying a high price for open access journals really does not mean or in any which way guarantee that there is a better chance to get more citations. So, the logic if consumer behaviour that we discussed in the beginning of the post, about higher the cost means better quality, does not really apply in the case of journals. Some of the journals with the most modest of fees may be very good in quality and repute and some that charge the authors enormous amount of money, may well be just nothing but just worthless pieces of paper. Before you actually start publishing in open access journals, you must make use of the various rating lists that are available online. They can be of very good help to you in deciding which journal is the best journal and what are the features and qualities of the journal that make it stand out. In the wide availability of options that you have, this is important exercise lest you get confused between the innumerable options that are available to you.
So, never take the price of the journal as the sole criteria for selecting it to get your research published.