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Open Access guide: OA Journals

This guide will help USask researchers and students understand what open access (OA) is and how to make their own works OA.

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)

The information in this box has been re-organized to be more clear and easy to follow. And it has been moved to its own tab "OA Fee Discounts and Waivers". 

You do not always need to pay high fees to make your articles open access (OA)!

Article processing charges (APCs), or OA author fees, are one method of funding OA publishing, but they are NOT the only method. And there are several ways of avoiding or reducing the OA author fees you pay...  

  • Many OA journals do not charge fees at all! These are known as diamond (or platinum) journals. To find some of these, search in the DOAJ and limit to journals without article processing charges.
  • You can still publish in a conventional closed journal and make a copy of your article OA for FREE. This is often known as "Green OA" and is done through digital repositories. See the OA Repositories tab on this guide for more information.
  • OA fees are generally an acceptable expense in grant funding - so you can budget for them in your grant application.
  • Some fee-based OA journals will waive fees if the author is from the Global South, unfunded, or can demonstrate financial need.
  • The University Library now has many memberships, discounts, and waivers available with publishers (see table on this page: OA Fee Discounts & Waivers)

Please note: The Publications Fund administered by the USask OVPR is now discontinued. There is currently no centrally administered fund at USask to pay OA author fees, but some individual colleges or schools may administer their own funds. Check with your unit. 

Identifying Deceptive 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: