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Open Access: OA Journals

Find an OA Journal

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a service that indexes high quality, peer reviewed Open Access research journals, periodicals and their articles' metadata. Journals must apply for inclusion in this quality controlled list. This is an excellent place to search for reputable open access journals in your discipline.

Paying Article Processing Charges (APCs) for OA Fees (applies to USask authors)

Many OA journals do not charge fees, or will waive fees if the author is from a developing country or does not have funding. OA fees (APCs) are generally an acceptable expense in grants - so you can budget for them in your grant application.

If you do need to pay APCs there are some other sources of help in paying fees:

Publications Fund from Research Services: Up to $1500. See this page for more details. 

  • In addition to the Publications Fund from Research Services, some colleges now also have their own Publications Funds. Faculty should check with their college.


Discounts for Article Processing Charges (APCs) by publisher:

  •  American Chemical Society (ACS): USask authors receive a $250 USD discount in OA APCs in ACS "AuthorChoice" journals (doesn't include ACS Omega). When completing your online payment form select "Apply Discounts" then search for and select "University of Saskatchewan" as your institution. The $250 discount should then be applied.
  • BioMed Central: The University Library pays a membership to BioMed Central; USask authors receive a 15% discount on APCs. The discount is set up via IP recognition, so when you submit an article from a desktop computer on campus the discount gets deducted automatically. If you submit the article from home or any other IP address (often includes laptops on campus), then you would need to state manually (via a dropdown box) that you are affiliated with the USask. BioMed Central staff would then proof the identity and affiliation and deduct the discount afterwards.
  • Cambridge University Press: USask authors are eligible for a 20% discount off OA APCs. The discount is automatically applied when the author submits their article to RightsLink and selects their institutional affiliation.   
  • Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press): USask authors publishing in NRC journals are eligible for a reduced fee of $1500 per article for the OpenArticle option. Authors must state that they are affiliated with a "CRKN institution." CRKN is the national consortium through which the University Library subscribes to this journal package.
  • High Energy Physics journals: The University Library participates in the SCOAP3 initiative. Authors of high energy physics articles publishing in journals participating in SCOAP3 do not pay APCs, retain their copyright, and their articles are immediately open access. See this page for more details.
  • Hydrology Research (IWA Publishing) OA Affiliate Program: As supporters of Hydrology Research the University Library has 2 vouchers available to cover the full cost of APCs for USask authors publishing in this journal (articles accepted for publication between Jan 1- Dec 31, 2020). Please contact for more information. 
  • MDPI: USask authors receive a 10% discount in Article Processing Charges (APCs), book processing charges (BPCs), and Chapter Processing Charges (CPCs). Authors will be prompted during the last step of submission to determine if they are eligible for the discount (if submitting from within the USask campus IP range this should be automatically selected for authors).
  • SAGE Choice Open Access Model: USask authors publishing in SAGE journals are eligible for a 40% discount per article on Open Access charges. Authors must email and state that they are affiliated with a "CRKN institution that licenses Premier All-Access" and request the discount code (CRKN is the national consortium through which the University Library subscribes to this journal package). See detailed instructions for authors in the document below.
    • Note: there are some SAGE journals that are not included in this discount or that have special discounts. See lists below or check with editors of your journal of interest. 

Some Major OA Publishers

BioMed Central publishes more than 200 journals in the fields of science, technology, and medicine.

Public Library of Science (PLoS) publishes a suite of biology and medical journals.

Open Library of Humanities is a charitable organisation dedicated to publishing open access scholarship with no author-facing article processing charges (APCs).

Open Humanities Press journals are leading open access publications in critical and cultural theory.

Synergies is a not-for-profit platform for the publication and the dissemination of research results in social sciences and humanities published in Canada.

"Hybrid Journals" is the term used for traditional subscription journals that provide an open access option for authors who choose to pay the additional fee.

Publishers with Paid Options for Open Access - a list maintained by the SHERPA/RoMEO folks.

This Wikipedia entry has a list of publishers too.

More and more traditional journals are offering this option - check the website of your favourite journal to see if it does!

Identifying Disreputable Publishers and Journals

Predatory publishers use deceptive practices to lure authors to publish with them. They exploit the open access author-pays model for their own profit.

Always carefully assess an unfamiliar publisher before submitting your work to them. Use some of the checklists and resources listed below, and ask colleagues for their opinions. Your liaison librarian may also be able to advise you.

Want to learn more? Visit a more comprehensive guide on this topic:

Checklists to evaluation journals/publishers:

How to Start an OA Journal

Journal Publishing & Management Software

Open Journal Systems (OJS) is a journal management and publishing system that has been developed by the Public Knowledge Project through its federally funded efforts to expand and improve access to research.

Economics of OA