All content in an open access journal or in an open access platform is freely available at publication. Sometimes, but not always, the author pays a fee to cover costs for publishing and storage, a so-called article processing charge (APC). Since the publication fee is charged beforehand, it is important to be vigilant and make sure that the publisher is reliable.
Open access journals are freely available journals where the content can either only be read openly or both read and reused freely, depending on license. In order to find quality controlled journals within an academical field, use a resource such as Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
The models of financing open access journals differ. Sometimes, open access journals like hybrid journals charge a fee for publishing, a so called article processing charge (APC). Larger publishers and journals as a rule charge an APC, but the majority of journals in DOAJ don't.
There are no specific fund for open access publishing at Umeå university. However, there are several APC discounts available through the library.
Different publishers use different models for managing APCs. Because of this, it is important to follow the instructions of the specific publisher. Always use the e-mail adress connected to work (firstname.lastname@example.org) when corresponding with the publisher.
Currently there are many unreliable, so-called predatory, publishers who present themselves as legitimate open access publishers. The journals of these publishers often have names similar to established journals and they often market themselves through e-mail directly to researchers.
Make sure to assess the reliability of a publisher. The library presents a guide for assessment of publishing channels. We also recommend the resources of Think/Check/Submit as a support in assessing credibility of journals.