Q: What is an open access journal?
A: An open access journal is an academic journal in which the articles can be accessed for free for anyone to read anywhere in the world. Some open access journals have article processing charges (APCs) and some do not. None of Castledown’s journals have APCs, and it is free for anyone to publish in and to read our articles, anywhere in the world.
Q: What is a predatory publisher/journal?
A: A predatory publisher pretends that they publish a genuine academic journal, but fails to provide the services that they promise, most notably a proper review process. They charge a fee as an open access journal, but there is no quality control. There is typically no single editor (or co-editors) looking after a journal in their area of expertise, and journals tend to have a very broad focus. Predatory publishers will often send out invitations to people who recently presented at conferences telling them that they are interested in their paper, often asking them if they’d like to join their editorial boards at the same time. Legitimate journals have their editorial boards chosen by the editor, who is usually someone who has an established reputation in a field specific to the theme of the journal. The editors of every journal published by Castledown are respected academics in the field, and they have hand-picked their editorial board members based on their knowledge and publication records.
Q: Is an open access journal easier to get published in than a paper-based one?
A: No, there is no relationship between a journal being open access or not and quality of research published. It is true that there are a lot of low quality open access journals, but this is predominantly regarding journals from predatory publishers who just want to publish as much as they can, simply for profit and regardless of quality. An open access journal with a proper review process is no easier to get published in than a subscription paper-based or online journal with the same review process.
Q: If I publish in a Castledown journal, who owns the copyright of my article?
A: The copyright of all articles published in Castledown journals remains with the author. All published articles are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. These licences are designed to protect the authors, and we strongly believe that the rights of the authors should be respected at all costs.
Q: Why is Castledown able to publish without charging APCs?
A: We made all of our journals free to publish in from May 2022. It was always our goal to achieve this, but given that it costs us money to prepare each article for publication (copy editing, layout, registration of DOIs, hosting of the website, etc.), we needed to charge a minimal fee for the first few years. Some of these costs are supported by academic institutions or organisations, and as Castledown has grown, we are now able to cover the costs of the others with our other activities. We are proud to be able to make publishing research something accessible to people anywhere in the world, regardless of socioeconomic status.
Q: What is indexing, and why is it important?
A: Indexing is a process where certain organisations will look at the quality of articles published in a journal to decide if they should be included in the lists that they create. Some of the most famous indexes are Scopus, MLA International Bibliography, EBSCO, and ERIC. Our journals are already indexed in some of these famous indexes, and we are continuing to have them considered for inclusion. Some journals will claim that they are indexed in Google Scholar, but there is little or no human intervention in this selection process, so this is not an indicator of quality. Others are included in very obsure indexes that are usually created by organisations to try to validate their own research journals. The best idea is to look at some famous journals in your field and see where they are indexed. Good open access journals will also be cited in these journals if they have been published for a sufficient period of time.