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About Open Access Journals

In recent years, reputable open access (OA) journals have established themselves among the top ranked journals in most disciplines. The Directory of Open Access Journals is a trusted resource for finding and learning about OA journals in your field.

The process for vetting and selecting an OA journal to submit your work to is largely the same as the process detailed in the "Publishing Journal Articles" portion of this guide, though it is also key to pay attention to any Article Processing Charges levied by an OA journal and ensure you are not submitting to a so-called "predatory" journal.

If you have questions about finding, evaluating, or submitting your work to an Open Access journal, please contact UH Libraries' Director of the Digital Research Commons Taylor Davis-Van Atta. For more information about open access at UH, see the Libraries' Open Access webpage.

Publishing with an Open Access Journal

Publishing with an open access journal offers a number of advantages for you and for other people cutting across all sections of society.

Share your research with the world: When you publish open access, your work is immediately available to anyone around the world with an internet connection, paywall-free. In addition to this, you keep the copyright to your work. That means you’re free to share it anywhere, anytime, with anyone.

Get noticed: Studies routinely conclude that you’re more likely to be cited when your work is more discoverable and visible. Open access helps you get noticed and credited for your work. Open access articles are also fully indexed, easily searchable, machine-readable, and open to text and data mining so anyone can find them online.

Collaborate to accelerated discovery: Your work is immediately available in its entirety and free to reuse and remix with attribution. Without delays or barriers, your work helps open opportunities. When researchers can read and build on the findings of others without restriction, science advances faster.

Inform the future: Open access allows everyone to benefit from your advancements, not just a select group of other researchers. By increasing visibility and access to research, we can amplify its power to inform, educate, and enlighten readers, funders, and policymakers.

There can be barriers to making one's work immediately available through an open access journal. A main barrier is cost: the majority of English-language OA journal publishers charge an Article Processing Charge (APC), which can be quite expensive and is not always covered or defrayed by a grant or by one's academic department or institution.

UH does not currently have a centralized fund to help offset Article Processing Charges for its community members.

Sherpa/RoMEO, a public database of scholarly publishers' policies on copyright and self-archiving, offers an extensive, curated list of Open Access journals and their author processing charges (APCs).

So-called “predatory” publishing⁠ is an exploitative business model that involves charging fees (APCs) to authors without checking articles for quality or providing essential editorial, indexing, and other services typically offered by publishers.

This Best Practices Guide provides selection criteria, resources, and tools for the identification of reputable open access journals to support researchers, publishers, and librarians in their search of best practice and transparency standards. This guide is updated regularly by the trusted team at Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) based on existing and new information.