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It’s Open Access Week! Here’s how to find great OA journals to publish with

It’s Open Access Week, a global event organized to promote free online access to scholarship.  Research funders are increasingly mandating that underlying research data and articles for sponsored research are made available via open access.  Some universities have adopted open access policies encouraging or requiring faculty to deposit their scholarship in open access archives.  Many scholars are motivated to publish in open access forums for a range of moral (open access advances science and innovations) and self- interested reasons (open access results increases readership and impact via citations).


Falvey Memorial Library supports faculty interested in publishing in open access journals via the SOAR fund and provides assistance with identifying reputable open access journals.  Your liaison librarian is able to guide you through these sources designed for finding high quality open access journals.


The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is an international organization dedicated to advancing open access and best practices in scholarly publishing.  It maintains a browseable and searchable list of open access peer reviewed journals.  The DOAJ doesn’t include so called hybrid open access journals that are subscription based but make individual articles open access in exchange for significant article processing charges.  Only true, sometimes called “gold”, open access journals with creative commons licenses, allowing authors to retain copyright and users to read, copy, download and reuse without significant restrictions are included.

Cabell’s Directory of Publishing Opportunities is a bespoke database for academic authors seeking just the right journal outlet for their scholarship.  The Falvey Library subscription includes the education, nursing, business and psychology modules.  Authors can use check offs and slides to find journals by topic, acceptance rates, time to review, time to publication, review type, impact factor and of course by gold open access.


SCOPUS, Elsevier’s multidisciplinary search engine, provides multiple pathways for finding open access journals.  From the Source tool you can browse journals by subject and limit to open access or you can do keyword searches in journal titles and limit to open access.  To find cross disciplinary open access journals, searching Scopus on the article level and scanning the results to see which journals in the results list are labeled “open access” is another effective approach.  Scopus also provides journal level metrics and tools for comparing custom build lists of journals.


Similarly, Web of Science, the Thomson competitor to Elsevier’s SCOPUS, has an open access check off on the article search results screen.  The Impact Factor, perhaps the gold standard for journal metrics, is only provided for titles included in the Journal Citation Report.


Checking Beall’s List of “potential, possible or probably predatory publishers” is a must for any to do list for finding and evaluating open access journals.  In short, Beall’s list is a curated, vetted list of where NOT to publish.  Jeffrey Beall, a librarian passionate about integrity in scholarly communication, conceived of and maintains the list.   Beall’s criteria for inclusion in the list is inspired by theCommittee on Publishers Ethics’ (COPE) Code of Conduct for Journal Publishersand the Principles of Transparency and Best Practices in Scholarly Publishing.  To apply similar criteria to a journal that is a promising candidate for publication try the Think Check Submit website.

Whether or not you choose to publish in an open access journal depends on many factors including whether the journal will reach your intended audience, handles the publication process in a timely businesslike manner, the availability of funding for article processing fees, and not least, tenure and promotion committee attitudes.  If you’d like a sounding board and assistance identifying reputable open access journals your liaison librarian is here to help.

Linda Hauck resize 2Article by Linda Hauck, MS, MBA, business librarian and team coordinator for the Business Research team.



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Last Modified: October 25, 2016

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