For the purposes of this guide, Open Access refers to making peer-reviewed journal articles freely available for reading and re-use. Terms like Open Access, Open Scholarship, Open Science, Open Source, Open Data, and Open Educational Resources are sometimes used interchangeably or sloppily. Please contact a librarian if you have questions about the use of these terms.
Finding Reliable Open Access Journals and Books
Since identifying a predatory journal is a process and involves a lot of subjective considerations, there isn't one list of bad actors. You should use one or more of the sites below to help you identify predatory journals. Most of these are 'white lists', or lists of journals that meet certain requirements to prove they are reputable. Some are lists of characteristics for you to look for when considering a journal.
Funder OA Requirements
Many funding insititutions now require recipients to make journal articles freely available to the public. Making journal articles freely available will allow:
- access to researchers in developing countries,
- access to researchers at small institutions,
- taxpayers to see what their monies supported,
- and support public groups like patient advocacay groups and environmental groups.
Faculty Open Access Agreements
Faculty and researchers at many universities, institutions, individual schools and units have agreed to make their journal articles freely available to the public. These mandates are generally not tied to funding directives, but are focused on making research (journal articles) generated by a specific group freely available to everyone. University of Oregon law professor Eric Priest analyzed the Harvard OA mandate in this paper.
ROARMAP provides lists of the institutions and units that have these mandates. You can search or browse to view the wide range of mandates and institutions involved. SPARC hosts the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI).
Below are a few of the more prominent institutions that have such a mandate.