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Open Access Resources: Evaluating OA Journals

The guide will offer instruction on how to vet Open Access Resources (OAR) and where to locate appropriate OARs.

Phony VS Legit


Credit: Evaluating Scholarly Journals infographic from FrontMatter by Allen Press / CC BY ND NC 3.0

Guidelines for Evaluating OA Journals

  • Discover peer-reviewed journals using library search tools
  • Scope of the journal is well-defined and clearly stated
  • Journal is affiliated with or sponsored by an established scholarly society or academic institution
  • Review past issues: does the content look topical and credible? Are the authors known to you?
  • Is the journal registered in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) 
  • Does the website provide complete contact information: email, street address, working phone number?
  • Does it have a valid online ISSN?
  • Articles have DOIs (Digital Object Identifier, e.g., doi:10.1111/j.1742-9544.2011.00054.x)
  • Journals are disseminated via research databases (academic abstracting and indexing services) such as JSTOR, PubMed, EBSCOhost, ProQuest (even Google Scholar).  
  • Journal clearly indicates rights for use and re-use of content at article level (e.g., Creative Commons CC BY license)

Credit: Stony Brook University, Libraries ( & Grand Valley State University Libraries (

Peer Review in 3 Minutes

Credit: NCSU Library, North Carolina