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Open Access: Evaluating OA Publications

This guide provides guidance on open access scholarly publishing for all researchers.

Guidelines for evaluating OA publications

Before publishing in a new Open Access publication, please consider: 

  • Is the publication listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)? Journals indexed in DOAJ after March 2014 (indicated with a green check mark or DOAJ Seal)
  • Is the publication indexed in a reputable, established database such as Web of Knowledge, Ulrich's, Sociological Abstracts, or others that you use in your research? 
  • Is the publisher a member of a reputable industry organization such as Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association or the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)?
  • Is the publication affiliated with a university or professional organization? Does the editorial board have credentials? What are their acceptance rates? If you have questions or hesitations, contact members of the editorial board or article authors. 
  • Article Publishing Costs and copyright ownership should be clearly indicated on a publication's website. More information on author rights.
  • Think. Check. Submit. helps researchers identify trusted journals in their research. Through a range of tools and practical resources, this international, cross-sector initiative aims to educate researchers, promote integrity, and build trust in credible research and publications. 

Additional Resources

Open Access Publishing Ethics

Along with the emergence of open access publishing, printing barriers have decreased and the assembly and dissemination of information requires little more than Internet access. 

Unfortunately, this has led to a proliferation of open access publishers with little or no subject expertise and of questionable repute. 

Scholars and researchers may receive email solicitations for fee-based paper submissions to journals that make false or misleading claims about the stringency of their peer-review process, members of their editorial board, or indexing status.​​


This guide was created using many resources, many of them are linked throughout the guide. This guide was also built using information from Cornell University Library guide on Open Access Publishing, published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License