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Open Access

This guide discusses open access, its significance, and how UChicago Library supports it.

Finding and Evaluating Open Access Journals

The number of open access (OA) journals soared in the past decade.  In the meantime, authors may have heard news about journals with dubious editorial and business practices and thus have questions about the quality and legitimacy of OA journals.

One handy resource for finding reliable OA journals is the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).  It indexes OA journals that pass its evaluation criteria.  Additionally, DOAJ serves as a tool for finding articles published by the indexed journals.  Other resources for finding OA journals include:

When considering whether to publish in a particular OA journal, you may want to refer to Think. Check. Submit. and follow its guidance for journals.  The video below provides an introduction to Think. Check. Submit. as an online resource.

If you are concerned about a journal's editorial practices, you can check whether the journal observes the guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).  UChicago authors who have questions about OA and/or OA journals can contact the Library's subject specialists or the Center for Digital Scholarship for assistance.

More about Publishing with Open Access Journals

Not all OA journals impose an article processing charge (APC) for publishing with them.  For those that carry an APC, UChicago authors may be able to publish with them for free thanks to the Library's transformative agreements with select publishers.  If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact the Library's subject specialists, the Transformative Agreements Working Group, or the Center for Digital Scholarship.

Also, not all OA journals are equally open.  Instead, openness exists along a continuum.  SPARC, the Public Library of Science (PLOS), and the Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA) have collaboratively developed the HowOpenIsIt? guide to help authors "understand the components that define Open Access journals, learn what makes a journal more open vs. less open, [and] make informed decisions about where to publish."

HowOpenIsIt guide

The HowOpenIsIt? guide is made available by SPARC and PLOS under the Creative Commons Attribution License.