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Open Access Journals and Books

September 5, 2011

The Open Access Logo

I’m in the process of completing a research article and I thought I would see if I could find a suitable Open Access Journal to submit it to. Wikipedia has a good entry on Open Access (OA), which it describes as “unrestricted online access to articles published in scholarly journals, and also increasingly to book chapters or monographs”. The entry includes several charts that illustrate the impressive increase in OA journal articles (19,500 in 2000; 191,850 in 2009) and journals (740 in 2000; 4769 in 2009). In my search, I discovered several sites that list OA journals by discipline, and I found several OA journal search engines. I started a list of these sites, which has been uploaded as a google doc that anyone can add to.

While I was compiling this list, I received messages from colleagues through the Copyright Community of Practice mailing list containing links to two relevant articles. In a piece published in the Guardian, “Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist“, George Monbiot argues that academic publishers are “the most ruthless capitalists in the western world” (a fully referenced version of the article can be found on his website). A good case study that compares OA to proprietary scholarly publishing is presented by John Conley et al. in “But what have you done for me lately? Commercial Publishing, Scholarly Communication, and Open-Access“.

If you are an author or researcher looking for an Open Access journal, you could start by visiting the Peer Reviewed Open Access Journals list, search the Directory of Open Access Journals, or check one of the other sites included in the public google doc. It is worth remembering to check for OA books as well. AU Press (Athabasca University, Alberta, Canada) for example, has published a large number of books as well as eight journals – all available as free downloadable PDF files.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 5, 2011 10:38 pm

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the interesting post. I wonder if you will be covering hybrid journals in your article. These sometimes create confusion, e.g. see

    JournalTOCs includes Tables of Contents for 2,500 OA journals. It is a great pity that more OA journals don’t have RSS TOC feeds. They are missing out on a great opportunity – see:

    The AU Press journals you mmention don’t seem to have feeds.


  2. Mark Mcguire permalink
    September 5, 2011 11:54 pm

    Hi Roddy

    These are good points, and I thank you for bringing them to my attention. I’ll publish a follow-up post and link to your posts where you discuss these. Your blog has has plenty of useful information – and some terrific photos. I’ll investigate the Journal Table of Contents Service, which looks useful.



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