Open access journal publishing

Open access journals are an option to consider when looking to publish your research. They provide free access to articles by eliminating traditional financial barriers to readers and generally fall into four categories:


In these publication instances, work is published by a peer-reviewed journal (often not open access) but then archived and made freely available on an author controlled website or related open access repository the author has provided it to.

Gold/Platinum/Diamond Open Access

These open access journals provide free articles but vary in the way they are funded. This essentially means that, depending on the journal, there may be monetary fees charged to the author for an article to be open access.


Hybrid journals publish both traditional articles as well as open access articles. Again, oftentimes the author must pay a publication fee for the article to be open access.


With delayed open access journals, articles only become free after a predetermined amount of time has passed, typically six months to one year and sometimes longer.

Although the concept of open access aligns nicely with core librarianship principles, deciding what publishing route to take will be dependent on your article, what is important to you as an author, and your financial means.

There are many reasons to consider publishing in an open-access journal. Your article will be seen by a wider audience, it will get cited more often, students and the general public will benefit from your work without the cost of pricey subscriptions, and your work will likely be published faster than in traditional journals, making your research available sooner.1 However, if you are publishing for academic purposes and/or tenure, it might be wise to publish through more traditional methods as “name brand” factors can weigh in on decision making.2

There are several resources for locating open access journals. To locate LIS specific open access journals, try reviewing the University of Saskatchewan’s List of Peer Reviewed LIS Journals.

Or for a more general but comprehensive list, try the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Here you can search by subject to locate potential publishing options.

Apart from concerns regarding financials, another issue surrounding open access publishing is credibility. To confirm you aren’t being taken advantage of, here is a list of potential predatory scholarly open access journals. As well as an article on how to identify questionable open access journals.

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Sarah Conte, “Making the Choice: Open Access vs. Traditional Journals,” American Journal Experts, accessed December 5, 2018,
  2. Sarah Conte, “Making the Choice: Open Access vs. Traditional Journals,” American Journal Experts, accessed December 5, 2018,
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