Purpose ‐ This study aims to summarise the information about open access publishing models and to analyse the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper is based on a review of the academic literature, to conduct a comprehensive SWOT analysis and adopt the multiple case study approach to analyse the open access publishing model. Findings ‐ Useful results include the findings that the success factors of open access business models are: creating savings in publishing costs, increasing incomes, adoption of innovative technologies and controlling the quality of journals. The open access publishing model makes the research permanently visible and accessible, with sustainable development. Research limitations/implications ‐ While the findings may be applicable to open access journals for reasons other than impact factor, further research would be required to confirm this. Originality/value ‐ This study provides results that may enhance one's understanding of the open access publishing model, allowing both the reader and the author to benefit from it. Open access publishing leads to wider dissemination of information and greater advances in science.