Here is the criteria I have used to help me choose appropriate open journals for midwives to publish in.
- Relevant to midwives.
- International journal.
- Free for authors to publish, and free for readers. A large number of open access journals charge a publication fee which significantly reduces options to authors who are not funded.
- Credible, academic editors and editorial board.
- Clear peer-review process.
- Cited in databases used by health professionals such as Pubmed and Cinalh.
- Having an 'impact factor' is an advantage but not necessary. If it does not have an impact factor, it needs to be found easily in a Google search.
- Preferably an established journal that has been running at least a couple of years.
I have come up with a few suggestions of journals for potential authors like myself, and given each suggestion a score to help us decide where to submit our work.
1 = Meets only a few criteria and may be a poor publication option for midwives.
5 = Meets all criteria and is an excellent publication option for midwives.
NB: This score is subjective - I would highly recommend that you check out each journal before you decide where to submit your articles. I must also acknowledge that I have taken a white, English-speaking approach to my choices.
Open access journals for midwifery publications
Here are some suggestions for journals that midwives may wish to submit articles for publication with a few comments that may help you decide if this is a journal for you.
New Zealand College of Midwives Journal: This bi-annual journal is published in paper form and eventually makes its way online quite a few months later as a pdf. This journal focuses mostly on New Zealand midwifery issues, but is indexed in Cinalh.
Score: 3/5 This journal is published online but it takes a long time before it becomes available.
Women and Birth: This is the journal of the Australian College of Midwives published by Elsevier. There are four issues every year and full text articles are available from 2006. Has a very credible academic editorial board, but articles have mostly Australian focus. Indexed in Pubmed and Cinalh.
Score: 4.5/5 Needs to be more international but otherwise a great open access journal.
Canadian Journal of Midwifery Research and Practice: This is the journal of the Canadian Association of Midwives. It is not clear if the peer review process is blind and there is minimal information about the editors. There are two issues a year with only a few articles per issue that focus on Canadian midwifery issues. No information about indexing on databases.
Score: 3/5 Fabulous to see this journal in an open access format but a lot of work needs to be done to raise its profile.
Rural and Remote Health: International journal dealing with research, education, practice and policy with a rural/remote focus. Fully indexed with peer-review process.
Score: 5/5 My only complaint is that this journal does not have a Creative Commons licence which means the journal retains copyright, not the author.
International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being: This journal is free for authors this year and is edited by an international team of academics. There are four issues per year and topics range across health including pregnancy and birth. Authors retain copyright with a Creative Commons licence. The journal in indexed in all the health-related databases.
Score: 2/5 Likely to have an appeal to only a small number of midwifery researchers and authors.
Score: 2/5 Good choice of journal for midwives whose research is focused on indigenous issues.
Score: 2/5 I have given this journal a low score because of its reduced appeal to midwifery authors.
International Journal of Medical Education. This is a new journal that has started this year. It has an international editorial board and is free to publish. It focuses on medical education but will receive submissions from other health professionals. There is no information about indexing but that is probably because this is a new journal.
Score: 3/5 I am in two minds about the score for this journal. I hope it will become inter-professional as time goes by. If it does not, then it may not be a good option for midwifery educators.
Practice and Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. This journal has been around for a few years. The editorial board is British and there is no information about indexing.
Score: 2/5 This journal would not be my first choice for publishing midwifery education research.
The Educational Research Journal. This is another new journal. What I like about this journal is that it is hosted in Pakistan with an international editorial board. Time will tell as to how useful it will be for midwives.
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. I have included this journal because of the increasing number of midwifery programs turning to online and distance delivery. This journal is highly respected in eLearning circles with an international readership and indexing. It uses a Creative Commons licence which means you retain copyright over your work.
Score: 5/5 This journal is very worth looking at if you want to publish research and commentary around online/distance midwifery education.
Journal of Online Learning and Teaching. This is another journal that midwifery educators could submit articles to if they are involved with eLearning. The emphasis is North American but there are a number of articles with a health focus. I could not see any information about indexing but the journal uses several social networking tools to disseminate information about the journal.
International Journal of Qualitative Methods. Contains a number of articles relating to health so may be of interest to some midwives. Has blind review process and international board of editors. Downside is that I could not see any information about indexing.
You can find full details about open access journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals, Royal College of Midwives, co-action.net, BioMed Central, Bentham Open and PubMed Central.
Have you ever thought of publishing your thoughts or research in an open access journal? What do you see are the advantages? What would stop you publishing in an open access journal?
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