Open science and research

How to choose a scientific publication for your research

When selecting a publication channel, you should pay attention to the openness and reliability of the publication channel. Publishing in a high-quality publication channel will increase the impact of research.

The Aalto University Open Science and Research Policy states that Aalto University aims to publish all publication types according to open access principles by recommending publishing in open access channels or by parallel publishing (green open access).

Attention should also be paid to the reliability of the publication channel. Publishing in a high-quality publication channel will increase the impact of research.

Not sure about the quality of a journal? Consult your research community, or contact [email protected]

Aalto University Open Science and Research Policy

Quality assessment of publication channels

There are several tools available to check the reliability and quality of the publication channel. As a rule, the publication channels at levels 1, 2 and 3 in the Finnish Publication Forum listing, as well as the publications indexed in Web of Science or Scopus database, are established and reliable academic publication channels.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a list of trustworthy Open Access journals. Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) is a community of open access publishers, which members undergo a review process before joining the community.

Reliable publication channels

Characteristics of a reliable journal include:

  • Journal has an ISSN
  • Journal is included in known databases (i.e. Scopus, Web of Science, UlrichsWeb, DOAJ)
  • Scope of the journal is well-defined
  • Editor and members of the editorial board are recognized experts in the field
  • Journal is affiliated with or sponsored by an established scholarly society or academic institution
  • Instructions to authors are clear and comprehensive (i.e. peer review process, author fees, copyright and possible license are clearly described)
  • Publisher is a member of OASPA or COPE


Questionable publication channels

The number of questionable publication channels is constantly increasing. So-called predatory journals charge for publishing, but neglect the obligations of the scientific publication, such as rigorous peer review. However, shortcomings in the quality of the editorial work may also be caused by lack of competence or resources. 

Characteristics of a questionable journal include:

  • Journal scope statement is vague or includes multiple different fields
  • Obtrusive direct marketing by e-mail
  • Inadequate or lacking peer review
  • Inadequate web site: no contact information, shortcomings in instructions to authors (i.e. peer review process, copyrights and author fees

Tools for quality assessment of the publication channels

An image describing the benefits of open access (for example findability, impact, visibility, higher citation rates, compliance with grant rules, value for taxpayers)

Open Access Publishing

Open access to publications ensures that scientific publications are accessible to everyone free of charge.

Open science and research
Close-up of two students making notes on a research article while reading it.

Open science and research

The principle of openness is the key principle of science and research. At Aalto University, the most visible forms of open science are open access publications, open research data and metadata, and combining openness and commercialisation.

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