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Maximizing your research identity and impact: Open Access Publishers

Find a Journal

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a good starting point.  Please review their Aims & Scope and Selection Criteria for more information.

SHERPA/RoMEO lists publishers' default copyright and Open Access policies.

BioMed Central publishes more than 250 peer-reviewed biomedical open access journals.

PeerJ is an open access journal that publishes articles in the biological, medical and health sciences.

PLoS (Public Library of Science) produces seven open access biomedical journals.

Several major publishers have added open access journals, including:

IMPORTANT: You don't have to publish in an Open Access Journal to make your work Open!
Many publishers have OA options. And, remember, you can amend your copyright transfer agreement to retain your rights.

Think. Check. Submit.

Think. Check. Submit.

Think. Check. Submit. is a campaign to help researchers identify trusted journals for their research and includes a simple checklist researchers can use to assess the credentials of a journal or publisher.

OA Journals: Things to Consider

Journal selection for open access publication requires as much thought and research as publication is a subscription-based journal. See COPE's Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing for what to look for when publishing in any type of journal.

Here are a few additional things to be aware of when selecting an open access journal.


  • Many open access journals will charge an author publication fee to recoup publication costs.  Be sure to check the publisher's website for information on publication fees. OA Fee Chart
  • If you are interested in publishing in an open access journal, consider including the cost of publication fees in grant proposals, if allowed by the funding agency.

   Predatory & Deceptive Publishing

  • Watch for look alike and sound alike journals.
  • Because author fees can be seen as an easy revenue stream for unscrupulous individuals, it is important to verify the journal you have selected is what it appears to be.
  • Did you receive an email out of the blue to submit your work? If you think it might be spam, it probably is.
  • Is the peer review process transparent and appropriate to the discipline? Does the journal use Creative Commons licensing?
  • An ISSN is not a guarantee of quality.
  • Use the checklist from Think.Check.Submit to assess the journal.
  • Check the members list of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA).  Members must agree to follow rules of conduct, including transparency in their author fees.
  • Check Grand Valley State University's Open Access Journal Quality Indicators guide for what to watch out for when publishing in OA journals.
  • Types of Deceptive Publishing to watch out for.

   Findability and Sustainability

  • Because online open access journals can be easy to start, they may be a passion project of a few individuals. Loss of the driving force behind the journal can cause it to become inactive.
  • Look closely at the editorial board and the record of publication.
  • Journals may not be indexed in subject databases until they are well established. Your subject librarian can help you find out about indexing.

More information on Assessing Open Access Journals