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Scholarly Communication Services at WSU: Publish Open Access

This guide is designed to increase awareness of significant issues associated with scholarly communication. It also presents resources for WSU researchers who wish to explore alternative avenues for sharing their scholarly work with a global audience.

Introduction: Publish Open Access

Should you wish to publish your work open access, this page will assist you in finding and selecting open access journals and publication venues. When you publish open access, you may do so by one of several avenues: by publishing in a pre-existing open access journal, by starting your own open access journal, or by paying fees to make your article open access. See below for more details.

Finding an Open Access Journal

To find an open access journal, you can begin by searching in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The DOAJ lists journals that users can "read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to" in full text. Listed journals must "exercise peer-review with an editor and an editorial board or editorial review (particularly in the Humanities) carried out by at least two editors." Please note that you may also find open access journal options in traditional article databases like Web of Science and Scopus.

Publishing Your Own Open Access Journal

The WSU Libraries provide support for members of the university who may wish to publish their own open access journals. The libraries use Open Journal Systems (OJS) to host content. This system allows you to manage submissions and peer-review workflows for your journal. North American Fungi is an example of a WSU journal launched using OJS. Please contact Talea Anderson at the WSU Libraries for more information.

Selecting a Journal and Assessing Quality

Open access does not equate to low quality. Most open access journals are peer-reviewed and managed by well-respected editorial teams. The Directory of Open Access Journals uses quality control criteria to select journals for listing, and most purveyors of open access content subscribe to the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) Code of Conduct.

However, when selecting an open access journal, you should beware of predatory publishers. To determine the reputability of a publisher, you may wish to consult these tips from the University of Minnesota about assessing questionable publishers and these criteria for assessing scamminess by Gravia Libraria. 

In general, signs of a disreputable journal may include:

  • Editorial board lacks expertise in the journal's subject area
  • Publisher demonstrates lack of transparency in its business operations
  • Journal levies unannounced fees for publication
  • Publisher has a poorly maintained website, which may include plagiarized or unlicensed guidelines or content

Consider searching as well in Web of Science or Scopus for the journal in question. If the journal is not indexed there, it may not be reputable.

Contact Us

Talea Anderson's picture
Talea Anderson
Scholarly Communication Librarian
Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation
Washington State University Libraries

Impact of Open Access Journals

Open access journals are not necessarily low-impact publications--some are, some aren't. Particularly as they become more well-established, open access journals do impact academia, as evidenced by engagement with their content. See the following studies for more information:

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