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Open Access Journals

Open access (OA) refers to freely available, digital, online information. Open access scholarly literature is free of charge and often carries less restrictive copyright and licensing barriers than traditionally published works, for both the users and the authors. OA is a newer form of publishing but many of these journals comply with well-established peer-review processes and maintain high publishing standards. There are two types of OA, Gratis and Libre.Gratis means publications are available immediately online and free of charge. Libre means publications are available immediately online and free of charge but also includes re-use rights. Many traditional publishers are now offering OA options e.g. Elsevier, Springer and Taylor and Francis.

Some other benefits of publishing in an OA journal include:

  • Maximizes Exposure and Reach
  • Fulfills the Requirements of Funders (e.g NIH Public Access)
  • Preserves Publications Long Term

  • Is the journal indexed in a reputable database such as PubMed or Scopus* to name a few? Is the publication included in UlrichsWeb * which searches more than 300,000 periodicals and gives detailed information including if the item is peer-reviewed and how many years it has been in publication.
  • When looking at the journal's website, can you see anything such as an association with a university or a professional organization? Is it peer reviewed (usually found in the About this journal section)? Does the publication include an editorial board with credentials?
  • Are publishing fees and copyright ownership clearly spelled out on the website?
  • Is there evidence that the publisher is a member of an industry organization such as Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association or the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)?
    * You must login to these sources through UC following these directions.

General Tips for Journal Selection

When deciding which journal to submit your new article to keep these things in mind:

  • Discipline relevance-does the journal reach your target audience?
  • Quality or impact of the journal-what is the impact factor of the journal (but do not use this as the only deciding factor)
  • Is it peer-reviewed (see Ulrichsweb link below in the Journal Selection Tools box)?
  • Prestige of the editorial team, contributors and the journal circulation
  • Availability- is the journal widely available (cost and distribution...the higher the cost, the less accessible)
  • Is it Open Access (see our guide on OA by clicking this link)?

Please be aware that some predatory journals may show up in your results. Please contact the Pratt Library if you are unsure of a journal title.