QOAM stands for Quality Open Access Marker.
The price-performance ratio (‘value for money’) varies greatly for open access journals. QOAM aims to offer authors, academic institutions and research funders a better insight in these differences. Bringing this information together in one place stimulates a quality-of-service-based ‘market’ for open access journals, in which they, and their publishers, must compete for the choice of authors and the preference of funders.
Quality in QOAM stands for the quality of the service a journal delivers to its authors. The added value of the peer review and the responsiveness of the editors are the key aspects. The score card for these aspects also includes a free text box for additional comments. The scores come from academic authors. QOAM has developed a simple tool for publishers to invite their authors in batches to score their journals.
Open Access may already have been in existence for some two decades, it is still not the default approach in scholarly communications and academic publishing.
Prices – for journals that do levy Article Processing Charges (APCs) – are very dynamic at the moment, ranging from no fee to 5000 €/$/£ or more per article. QOAM collects:
(1) The list price as quoted on the web site of a journal,
(2) Discounts resulting from institutional agreements (if necessary, made public with an appeal to the Freedom of Information Act).
The prices are found at the detail page of a journal behind the tab ‘Price information’. It is important to be aware that some journals levy, in addition to APCs, page charges and even colour charges. Those may or may not be indicated on the journal’s web site.
QOAM is in the overlap of three domains: (1) Quality, (2) Open Access, (3) Market.
Do subscription journals fit into these domains?
Ad 1. Quality. Yes. The Journal Score Cards in QOAM are business model neutral.
Ad 2. Open Access. No. Subscriptions are at odds with Open Access.
Ad 3. Market. No. Subscriptions are at odds with Open Access.
So, subscription journals do not fit in QOAM. Hybrid journals, however, do as they publish articles in open access for a fee. But zooming in to a market place of fully OA journals only is a one mouse click option in QOAM’s main journal list.
Quality judgement in QOAM is based on academic crowd sourcing. This means that one has to register with an academic email address before completing a score card for a journal, and only one Journal Score Card may be published for a specific journal per person. The email addresses are checked against a list of registered academic institutions.
If someone is in doubt about a specific score, they may (when logged in themselves) click the email address of the scorer and contact him or her. Moreover, it is possible to notify the QOAM-Team via email@example.com. In fact, QOAM is an instrument of the community, relying on academic vigilance to avoid improper use.
If an open access or hybrid journal is not included in QOAM, please notify this via QOAM’s Contact box. We will include this journal in QOAM provided that it can be found in JournalTOCs, our journal record provider. If it is not included in JournalTOCs, we will request them to do so.
Yes, QOAM can be customized both at a personal and a group level.
If an author wishes to define a personal collection of preferred journals they may simply do so in MyQOAM, a personalized market place. Such a collection is private and will remain available every time the author logs in.
QOAM also facilitates so called QOAMcorners: tailored collections for e.g. projects, research teams, conferences, or institutions. The person who has setup the corner acts as cornerAdmin and may update the corner. In contrast with MyQOAM, QOAMcorners may be visited by everyone.
If you want to log in for the first time, please register with your institutional email address and a password of your choice. You will receive a prompt request to confirm your registration. Confirmation will activate your account. Next time you may log in directly.
We have built in the option to submit your ORCID, provided you have one. Thus, you can still be identified if you change institute, hence email address. For the moment, however, this service is not yet operational and you have to update your email address yourself.