Development of a diagnostic framework and its application to open access journal publishing in Korea

Nayon Kim, Jung Won Yoon, Jae Yun Lee, Kyoung Hee Joung, Hyekyong Hwang, Seo Young Bai, Eun Kyung Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To enhance open access (OA) journal publishing environments, this study proposed and applied a diagnostic framework for OA journal publishing. The framework includes three dimensions: OA policy establishment and disclosure, OA sustainability and journal openness quality. By applying this framework to nine OA journals in the field of science and technology in Korea, challenges faced by OA publishing were uncovered. For the dimension of OA policy establishment and disclosure, it was found that participants had lower perceptions of the importance of OA-related financial disclosure and archiving policies compared with copyright policies. The dimension of OA sustainability was recognized as critical among participants. Finance was recognized as the most critical component of OA sustainability. Financial sources were mostly internal funding and article processing charges (APC), and participants perceived the current financial status of their journal positively. However, they were concerned about long-term financial security. For the journal openness quality dimension, the participants were hesitant in disclosing reviews and reviewers, which can facilitate the prevention of fake peer review of predatory journals. Based on the findings, the article discusses how the challenging issues identified could be addressed. The results of this study may provide a guide for OA policy and OA system development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-393
Number of pages15
JournalLearned Publishing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is part of the research project entitled ‘Establishment of open access support system of science and technology information through digital transformation’ supported by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information.

Funding Information:
Sustainability is a vital factor in OA journal environments. Recent studies reported the issue of disappearing OA journals on the web (Laakso et al., 2021 ) and reverse flips to the subscription‐based journal model (Matthias et al., 2019 ). According to a survey with diamond OA journals (Bosman, Frantsvåg, et al., 2021 ), approximately 20% of diamond OA journals either considered or decided to move away from the current OA publishing mode, mainly due to feasibility and economic viability. The current study examined four items (financial, people, education/training and collaboration), which were identified in the sustainability dimension. Participants commonly considered journal finance to be a very critical issue for journal sustainability and reported that their journals were operated by stable OA publishing finances mostly with internal funding or APC. However, even if the current financial situation for OA publication was stable, they were also concerned about the security of future financial sources. For the long‐term financial security of OA publishing, it is worth considering more stable financial models. Various funding models exist, such as collaboration with libraries, government agencies and national funding (Lee & Joung, 2020 ), and preferred funding models may be chosen by their OA publishing environments. In the case of Korean OA publishing contexts, the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) has supported the cost of publishing scholarly journals in the social science and humanity fields. For science journals, the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies (KOFST) has supported journal publishing since 1971. Furthermore, Huh et al. ( 2015 ) reported that finance is one of the challenges that editors in the science and technology field in Korea face when publishing open access journals. As national funding and government agencies are a major financial source for diamond OA journals (Bosman, Frantsvåg, et al., 2021 ), it is desirable to extend their financial support to OA publishing.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Learned Publishing published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of ALPSP.


  • OA compliance
  • OA dimensions
  • OA openness
  • OA policy
  • OA sustainability
  • Open access
  • diagnostic assessment framework


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