Gold Open Access (=Open Access publishing) is for many the preferred route to achieve unrestricted and immediate access to research output. However, true Gold Open Access journals are still outnumbered by traditional journals. Moreover availability of Gold OA journals differs from discipline to discipline and often leaves scientists concerned about the impact of these existent titles. This study identified the current set of Gold Open Access journals featuring a Journal Impact Factor (JIF) by means of Ulrichsweb, Directory of Open Access Journals and Journal Citation Reports (JCR). The results were analyzed regarding disciplines, countries, quartiles of the JIF distribution in JCR and publishers. Furthermore the temporal impact evolution was studied for a Top 50 titles list (according to JIF) by means of Journal Impact Factor, SJR and SNIP in the time interval 2000–2010. The identified top Gold Open Access journals proved to be well-established and their impact is generally increasing for all the analyzed indicators. The majority of JCR-indexed OA journals can be assigned to Life Sciences and Medicine. The success-rate for JCR inclusion differs from country to country and is often inversely proportional to the number of national OA journal titles. Compiling a list of JCR-indexed OA journals is a cumbersome task that can only be achieved with non-Thomson Reuters data sources. A corresponding automated feature to produce current lists “on the fly” would be desirable in JCR in order to conveniently track the impact evolution of Gold OA journals.
KeywordsGold Open Access Open Access publishing Journal impact factor SNIP SJR Impact analysis Impact evolution Ulrichsweb Directory of Open Access journals (DOAJ) Journal citation reports (JCR)
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