Open Access in Psychotherapy Research

Coincidentally, I had a difficult time finding an open access journal relevant to my discipline. My department is situated within the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and my program is Marriage and Family Therapy. Therefore, I wanted to find an open access journal that is relevant to the field of psychotherapy.

A journal that mostly fits my criteria is called Acta Psychopathologica, which falls underneath the umbrella of Insight Medical Publishing (iMedPub). With an impact factor of 1.2, this international journal is based in London, UK. According to their home page, iMedPub has a review process that is sophisticated and prompt. The specific journal I looked at covers a wide scope of psychopathological dysfunctions and psychiatric diagnoses. I appreciate how the journal breaks down the different categories, or keywords, that are covered. An aim of this publication is for research to have a global reach. They execute this pretty well. For instance, each Acta Psychopathologica journal subcategory crosses over with other journals. The advantage here is that research is presented through a transdisciplinary lens. This is a disadvantage, however, when one is looking exclusively within their field rather than between fields.

Regarding open access, this journal does explain what this means by stating, “open access means that anyone with internet access can find and read your work, offering you a wider audience and greater reach. Recent literature shows that articles published in open access journals are highly cited than those in non-open access journals.”

I see the benefits and potential risks in citing an article that is published in an open access journal. The benefit of expanding your reach is phenomenal — paywalls definitely prevent non-researchers from accessing knowledge — but, the drawback is relying on information that comes from a source that lacks quality control.

In therapy, our first rule is to do no harm. If citing an open access journal, I would want to further validate the findings by looking up empirical articles that cite the work.

1 thought on “Open Access in Psychotherapy Research

  1. Alexis Hruby

    You make some interesting points! I agree that a transdisciplinary journal can either be a positive or negative thing depending on the context. For my field, we are normally looking for super specific papers so it would probably hinder us from finding the paper or using it if it is published in a transdisciplinary journal. I think that open access journals are super great! But you’re right, sometimes the review process isn’t as good. It’s important to find a balance if you’d like to publish open access.

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