Mega journals are trendy in academic publishing. These scholarly journals are peer-reviewed open access journals, much larger than traditional journals, and subject to a less strict selection process.
To understand the main idea behind Mega journals, one must first understand Open Access publishing (OA). Simply put, OA gives access to published information; this information is free for all with no subscription fees, no paywall, and is open to everyone. The creation of OA publishing birthed mega journals, a form of OA journals with less-strict publishing criteria. (Problems with open access journals)
Mega journals contain a variety of research only limited by soundness and not perceived importance. A more specific definition of a mega journal is a type of scientific journal with free access to articles proven to be scientifically credible by peer review and lets the readers choose the articles they consider important. (Which journal should I choose for my paper?)
Sample Mega Journals
Many studies have pushed mega journals as the next best thing in the academic journal landscape. Here are some sample mega journals:
- PLOS ONE
- ACS Omega
- Scientific Reports
- SAGE Open
- Royal Society Open Science
- RSC Advances
- BMJ Open
- 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
- IET The Journal of Engineering
Mega Journals Vs. Normal Journals
When compared to traditional subscription-based journals, mega journals differ as they are less specialized and more inclusive. Mega journals accept and publish research articles from all disciplines; they are not targeted at one discipline or subject like many journals do.
The scope of peer review for mega journals is limited to the technical information provided, regardless of whether the research is new or important.
The costs of processing articles in mega journals, the Articles Processing Charges (APC), are far less than that of traditional journals, making it enough for anyone to publish. Mega journals also feature faster turnaround time from reviewers to researchers (Read about suggesting reviewers and excluding reviewers).
Characteristics of Mega Journals
Before any journal can be considered a mega journal, there are specific criteria these journals must meet. The criteria/characteristics are what differentiates a mega journal from a traditional journal. They also account for the increasing popularity of mega journals in the academic field. Here are some characteristics of mega journals:
Less Strict Editorial Criteria
It is a lot easier to publish in mega journals than in academic journals.
Mega journals are less strict with relevance and essential. Once peer review is done based on scientific mindedness, the research can be published in a mega journal regardless of whether people are searching for that topic or not.
Articles in mega journals are judged by scientific soundness rather than assumed significance or impact.
One characteristic that differentiates mega journals from traditional journals is their all-inclusive nature. Mega journals are not limited to a particular scope or subject; they include research from all sciences, medicines, genetics, arts, and social sciences, to mention a few.
This all-inclusive research accounts for the popularity of mega journals in academic scholarship.
Inclusive Editorial Academic Editors
An inclusive editorial board, which includes academic editors over professional editors. These academic editors are versed in a wide of subjects and are well equipped to review research.
Mega journals are generally much larger than traditional journals. This is because they possess elasticity that allows for the inclusion and publishing of scientifically sound and appropriate articles.
Not as popular as traditional journals, mega journals are gradually being used in academic scholarship. The vastness of research contained in these mega journals, their ease of publication as well as the scientific soundness of material contained in them explains the growing popularity of these mega journals.