A mega journal (also mega-journal and megajournal) is a peer-reviewed academic open access journal designed to be much larger than a traditional journal by exercising low selectivity among accepted articles. It was pioneered by PLOS ONE. This highly lucrative publishing model was soon emulated by other publishers.
A mega journal has the following defining characteristics:
- broad coverage of different subject areas;
- accepting articles for publication based on whether they are technically sound rather than selecting for perceived importance; and
- using article processing charges to cover the costs of publishing.
Other less universal characteristics are
- "an accelerated review and publication process", "fast turnaround time";
- "academic editors", even "a large editorial board of academic editors", (instead of professional editors); and
- value-added services such as reusable graphics and data through Creative Commons licenses.
It has been suggested that the academic journal landscape might become dominated by a few mega journals in the future, at least in terms of total number of articles published. Megajournals are also disrupting the market of article processing charges. Their business model may not motivate reviewers, who donate their time to "influence their field, gain exposure to the most current cutting edge research or list their service to a prestigious journal on their CVs." Finally, they may no longer serve as "fora for the exchange ... among colleagues in a particular field or sub-field", as traditionally happened in scholarly journals. To counter that indiscrimination, PLOS ONE, the prototypical megajournal, has started to "package relevant articles into subject-specific collections."
List of mega journals
- PLOS ONE
- ACS Omega
- Scientific Reports
- SAGE Open
- Royal Society Open Science
- BMJ Open
- Medicine (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins journal)
- Biology Open
- IEEE Access
- FEBS Open Bio
- AIP Advances
- G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
- Open Library of Humanities
- De Gruyter Open imprint
- Elsevier Heliyon
- Sage Open Medicine
- Beall, Jeffrey (2013). "Five Predatory Mega-Journals: A Review" (PDF). The Charleston Advisor. 14 (4): 20–25. doi:10.5260/chara.14.4.20.
- Bo-Christer Björk & David Solomon (March 2014). Developing an Effective Market for Open Access Article Processing Charges (PDF) (Report). Wellcome Trust. pp. 69 pages. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-06-02.
- Claire Creaser (5 May 2014). "The rise of the mega-journal". School of Business and Economics Research Blog. Loughborough University.
- Peter Binfield (19 January 2014). Sönke Bartling; Sascha Friesike, eds. "Novel Scholarly Journal Concepts". Opening Science. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-00026-8_10.
- Frank Norman (9 July 2012). "Megajournals". Trading Knowledge. Frank Norman.
- Björk, Bo-Christer. "Have the "mega-journals" reached the limits to growth?". PeerJ. 3: e981. doi:10.7717/peerj.981. PMC 4451030
. PMID 26038735.
- Hayahiko Ozono, Okayama University, Participants' Report on The 5th SPARC Japan Seminar 2011. “Burgeoning Open Access MegaJournals”. National Institute of Informatics.
- Solomon, David J. (2014). "A survey of authors publishing in four megajournals". PeerJ. 2: e365. doi:10.7717/peerj.365. PMC 4006221
. PMID 24795855.
- Wellen, R. (2013). "Open Access, Megajournals, and MOOCs: On the Political Economy of Academic Unbundling". SAGE Open. 3 (4). doi:10.1177/2158244013507271.
- Beall, Jeffrey (2013). "The Open-Access Movement is Not Really about Open Access". tripleC. 11 (2): 589–597.
- MacCallum, C. J. (2011). "Why ONE is More Than 5". PLoS Biology. 9 (12): e1001235. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001235.
- Francisco Osorio (5 April 2013). "Open Library of Humanities: mega journals seeing from the south". Facultad de Ciencias Sociales de la Universidad de Chile.
- "Beyond open access for academic publishers", 15 May 2014, Publishing Technology PLC
- Dagmar Sitek & Roland Bertelmann, "Open Access: A State of the Art", 2 March 2014, Springer, doi:10.1007/978-3-319-00026-8_9
- James MacGregor, Kevin Stranack & John Willinsky, "The Public Knowledge Project: Open Source Tools for Open Access to Scholarly Communication", 2 March 2014, doi:10.1007/978-3-319-00026-8_11
- Rhodri Jackson and Martin Richardson, "Gold open access: the future of the academic journal?", Chapter 9 in Cope and Phillip (2014), p.223-248.
- Michael Bernstein & Katie Cottingham, Ph.D. (14 December 2015). "American Chemical Society announces ACS Omega, a new open access journal serving global and multidisciplinary chemistry". www.acs.org. ACS.
- Peter Binfield, "PLoS ONE and the Rise of the Open Access MegaJournal", The 5th SPARC Japan Seminar 2011, National Institute of Informatics, The 5th SPARC Japan Seminar 2011 February 29, 2012
- "About". Royal Society Open Science.
- Open-Access Mega-Journals: A Bibliometric Profile, November 18, 2016
- Transitioning from a Conventional to a ‘Mega’ Journal: A Bibliometric Case Study of the Journal Medicine, Publications 2017, 5(2), 7; doi:10.3390/publications5020007
- Open-access mega-journals: The future of scholarly communication or academic dumping ground? A review
- Mega-journals: the future, a stepping stone to it or a leap into the abyss? October 13, 2016
- Jeffrey Beall (3 March 2013). "New Term: MOAMJ = Multidisciplinary Open Access Mega Journal". Scholarly Open Access. Archived from the original on 16 July 2014.
- New IEEE Open-Access "Mega Journal" Aims to Boost Technology Innovation "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-09-30.
- Zhang, Zhi-Qiang (2006). "The making of a mega-journal in taxonomy" (PDF). Zootaxa (1385): 67–68.
- "Press Release". Open Library of Humanities. Archived from the original on 2014-12-24.
- "De Gruyter Open converts eight subscription journals to Open Access megajournals". De Gruyter Open.
- "Introducing Heliyon - Elsevier's new broad scope, open access journal". Elsevier Heliyon.
- http://journals.sagepub.com/home/smo. Missing or empty
- Bill Cope and Angus Phillips, The Future of the Academic Journal, 2nd ed., Chandos Publishing, Jul 1, 2014, 478 pages.
- Peter Binfield, "Open Access MegaJournals -- Have They Changed Everything?", Creative Commons New Zealand Blog,
- Sönke Bartling & Sascha Friesike (Editors), Opening Science: The Evolving Guide on How the Web is Changing Research, Collaboration and Scholarly Publishing, Springer, 2014, ISBN 978-3-319-00025-1, 339 pp.