The Price of Publishing: An Investigation of the Open Access Landscape in Plastic Surgery

Pooja S. Yesantharao, Chao Long, Justin M. Sacks, Gordon K. Lee, Rahim S. Nazerali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Open access publishing in plastic surgery has rapidly gained traction in the past decade. This study investigated the digital landscape of plastic surgery open access publishing. Methods: This was a cross-sectional bibliometric investigation of plastic surgery-focused journals. Three publication models were investigated: subscription-only journals, hybrid journals offering both paywalled and open access publishing, and open access-only journals. Results: Eighty-two journals were investigated. In 2010, open access journals comprised 18 percent of all plastic surgery journals online, subscription journals comprised 79 percent, and hybrid journals comprised 3 percent. Conversely, in 2020, open access journals comprised 55 percent of all journals, hybrid journals comprised 45 percent, and there were no subscription-only journals. Multivariable linear regression adjusting for article type/content demonstrated that open access articles from hybrid journals [beta coefficient, 1.3; F(4, 18) = 790; p = 0.05] and high-quality open access journals [beta coefficient, 0.9; F(4, 19) = 738; p = 0.04] were significantly positively associated with number of full-text views. Although impact factor and article processing charges were positively correlated [Pearson correlation coefficient: r(25) = 0.39, p = 0.04] for open access publishing, some high-quality open access journals were found to offer fee waivers/free publishing. Lastly, level of evidence offered by articles from open access versus hybrid journals differed. Conclusions: Overall, this study highlighted important distinctions between trustworthy and predatory journals offering open access publishing in plastic surgery. Open access publishing in trustworthy sources offers greater visibility and is not necessarily cost-prohibitive, but some open access journals can be limited in scope (i.e., less coverage of subspecialty topics) and quality of content. Study findings were used to generate recommendations for navigating open access publishing in plastic surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1249-1260
Number of pages12
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Volume149
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2022

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