Skip to Main Content

Open Access Publishing: Where to Start

This guide accompanies the workshop "Open Access Publishing: Where Do I Start?" co-sponsored by the Grad College and University Library.

Step 1: Find a place to publish

The first thing to consider when publishing your work openly is whether there are any open access publishers in your discipline. 

Below, I've highlighted a few options for identifying open access publishers:

**If you can't find any options, skip to Step 5.**

Locating full OA journals and publishers

The following tabs contain information about how to find journals and monograph publishers who publish their outputs open access. 

Locating OA Journals (ISU Subscription Tools)

There are a growing amount of pre-established research tools that can assist you in finding Open Access journals. The tools below can also be used to find Closed Access journals and require Iowa State affiliation to log in.

Locating OA Journals (Open Tools)

DOAJ and ROAD directories include ONLY Open Access journals. You will not find subscription-only journals using these tools.

Locating OA Monographs

Note: These outlets publish all their research & scholarship openly. However, there are other options for making your research open, such as hybrid OA publishers (see below) and self-archiving (see Step 5 on this guide). 

Diamond journals offer no-fee open access

Many publishers are financially supported by memberships, institutions, societies, funders, or grants. Because of this support, authors are not charged any open access publishing fees. This model is sometimes called "diamond" open access. Further information about diamond open access is available through Science Europe, a leading organization in this space.

Complete and updated lists are hard to find, especially as some journals are changing to a no-fee open access model through support. You can find many open access journals and learn more about them through the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).

Hybrid journals offer optional open access

Many publishers offer open access options for authors through a "hybrid" model. Hybrid open access refers to a publishing model in which a subscription-based journal allows authors to make their articles open access if the author pays an article publication charge (APC). Authors who do not pay this charge can still have their work published, but it will only be accessible behind a paywall.

Check for an open access option in the "Instructions for Authors" or "Submission guidelines" pages of a journal's website to see if they support hybrid open access.

Some examples of hybrid open access journals include the Journal of Food EngineeringInformation Technology and Tourism, and Stochastic Processes and their Applications.

The Iowa State University Library covers the APCs for some hybrid journals, like those published by Wiley. You can learn more about our open access agreements on the Open Scholarship Services website: 

Publish with us!

If you're interested in publishing a monograph on a niche subject or if you are on the editorial board of a scholarly journal that wants to flip to open, consider using the ISU Digital Press to openly publish your work! Our new Open Access workflows for book and journal publishing can help you on your way!

Profile Photo
Abbey Elder
150 Parks Library
Iowa State University