Introduction: The choice of open access (OA) or non-open access (non-OA) publishing model is a serious concern and challenge for authors and journals. Therefore, the present study aimed to review the scientific literature related to the challenges and opportunities of the OA publishing model compared to subscription-based and hybrid publishing models.
Methods: The present study is a narrative review. Articles were searched in various databases such as Scopus and Web of Science (WoS), and articles concerning the research topic were reviewed.
Results: OA challenges were divided into five general categories: 1. Providing publishing fees 2. Fewer citations to OA articles without Article Processing Charge (APC) than citations to OA articles published in hybrid journals and OA journals receiving APC 3. Lower quality (scholarly output and citations number) of some OA journals compared to subscription-based journals 4. Fewer citation indicators of OA journals than hybrid journals. 5. Lack of difference in the citation indicators of some OA, subscription-based, and hybrid journals. Opportunities for the OA model were also divided into five categories: 1. Increasing the visibility of OA articles 2. Receiving more citations by OA articles than subscription-based articles 3. Higher citation indicators of some OA journals than subscription-based journals 4. The rapid growth of OA articles and Journals 5. Increasing the opportunity for scientific collaboration for researchers.
Conclusion: OA publishing is an advantage for articles. However, being an OA journal alone is not an advantage, as in many cases, subscription-based and hybrid journals have higher citation indicators than fully OA journals. Therefore, various variables such as visibility, the possibility of receiving more citations, and costs can be effective in the researchers’ approach to select the journal and publication model.