Open access journals (OAJs) have been celebrated for freeing research from paywalls and increasing the visibility of research results beyond disciplinary, academic, or financial boundaries. They have been recognized as an important part of the Open Science (OS) ecology. However, they are still viewed by some with skepticism. Given these conflicting perceptions, it would be important for LSP researchers and practitioners to understand OAJs better as they may need to work with students who are or will be part of the OS movement. Examining how open access journals describe themselves in their “Aims and Scope” (A&S) statement is a worthwhile step in this direction. I analyzed the A&S statements of 104 OAJs and 104 subscription-based journals. I conducted thematic analysis aided by NVivo. Although both groups of journals include some broad themes in their A&S statements, there are some observable differences in the way they describe their scope and promote themselves. Using the concept of the prestige economy, I offer two theoretical insights: the OAJs journals may be selfconsciously and purposefully responding to the expectations of the prestige economy. Meanwhile, they may be redefining what is relevant in such an economy.
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