Skip to main content
Middlesex University LogoMy Subject

Open Access

Should I publish in an Open Access journal?

Middlesex University recognises that there are a number of other factors to consider when choosing a journal to publish in, and choosing an Open Access (OA) journal is not the only route to achieving OA for your journal article.

Many journals are in fact hybrid, and will offer Gold OA to authors for an individual article, upon payment of a fee, even though the title as a whole is not Open Access. Even if you do not pay for Gold OA, the Green OA route will still be available to you. Please see our Guide to Open Access for more information about the Green route to OA.

Please note that whichever route to OA you take, the Middlesex University Policy on Open Access Publishing and the HEFCE Post-2014 REF requirements will require you to create a record describing your output in the Middlesex University Research Repository.

Note also that your research funder might prefer that you publish your outputs as OA, but you should refer to their guidelines to be sure of their exact policies. See our Guide to complying with the RCUK Policy on Open Access and also the SHERPA/JULIET website for information on funders’ open access policies.

Funders’ policies are mapped to journal publishers’ policies through other Sherpa services. In particular, the SHERPA/FACT site can be used to check if a journal complies with certain funders’ requirements, whilst SHERPA/RoMEO summarises and links to publisher copyright and self-archiving policies.

See our guide to the Horizon 2020 Open Access requirement for further information.

Are all Open Access journals equal?

There are so-called “predatory” Open Access publishers out there who wish to make money from Gold Open Access fees, and the explosion in journal titles in the Open Access era can make it difficult for authors to spot these.

You may wish to check Beall’s list of predatory Open Access Publishers although please note that some of these classifications are disputed.

Directory of Open Access Journals

We recommend the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) as a place where you can find scholarly journal titles that are Open Access.

Some of the journals listed on DOAJ make no charge to the author: Others will make your work OA upon payment of a fee, or Article Processing Charge (APC). (See How do I make my work Open Access? to read about the Gold route to Open Access).

DOAJ is not comprehensive though, as it relies on journal publishers submitting their titles to the directory.

Other places to search for Open Access journals

Ulrichs International periodicals directory (also known as Ulrichsweb)

This is a Library resource - find in the library catalogue - login to UniHub, then login to your Library Account then search the library catalogue. Look out for the open padlock symbol,  indicating that a title is Open Access.


JURN indexes free "open access" e-journals in the arts and humanities, along with other relevant arts and scholarly publications offering free content.

Education Research Global Observatory

Education Research Global Observatory provide a listing for those in education.

Online Journals Published with Digital Commons

Online Journals Published with Digital Commons - a listing of journals using the Open Journals Systems.