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PolyU Library

Open Access

This guide provides information and resources in open access and scholarly publishing.

Publish in OA Journals

Publishing your work in OA provides unrestricted access and reuse of your research outputs even without a subscription to journal packages. This form of publishing is also known as the Gold OA. 

Usually, an Article Processing Charge (APC) will be charged to authors when the paper gets accepted so that the research will be made available to readers and not just to subscribers. For Gold OA publications, copyright is usually retained by authors. Learn more from OA Copyright - Creative Commons licenses.
 

Types of OA Journals

Authors have the option to publish in

  • full OA journals, where all articles are in Gold OA (e.g. Scientific Reports, Nature Communications, and journals from PLoS, BMC); or
  • hybrid OA journals, where authors can choose to publish in the traditional way (without APC) or in Gold OA.

Most OA and hybrid OA journals charge APCs, ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand US dollars. Generally, APCs are covered by institutions or funders. However, there are still many OA journals that publish OA articles without charge. Many of these journals are managed by institutions or academic associations. An example would be London Review of Education, published by UCL Press. To find more of such journals, check here
 

Alternative to Publishing OA

Publishing OA is one form of making your research articles openly accessible. If the APCs are an issue, or if you would like to publish in specific journals that do not have OA options, authors can go OA via Green OA route involving self-archival. 

Transformative Agreements

What are Transformative Agreements?

Transformative agreements, also called "read and publish" agreements, are contracts between universities and publishers that shift scholarly publishing towards full open access. These agreements combine access to subscription content (READ portion) with the ability for researchers to publish in open access journals (PUBLISH portion).  In these agreements with the publishers, PolyU corresponding authors may benefit from a full waiver of APC to publish their work with an Open Access option.  (Read more)

 

The Library will work closely with publishers who offer such agreements to establish cost-effective Transformative Agreements for PolyU researchers across all disciplines, that will benefit the University in the long run.

Waivers or Discounts on OA Publishing Fees (APC)

These Transformative Agreements, also known as Read and Publish agreements, offer PolyU authors more opportunities to publish their work in high-quality journals with an Open Access option and with a full waiver of Article Processing Charges (APCs). While some agreements have limited quotas for APC waivers on a yearly basis, others offer unlimited quotas within the licensing period.

In addition to these agreements, certain publishers also provide discounts to PolyU authors who choose to pay APCs for publishing their work with an Open Access option.

Check the tables below to learn more:

1. Publishers with APC waivers (with quotas)

2. Publishers with APC waivers (unlimited)

3. Publishers that offer APC discounts
 

1. Publishers with APC waivers (with quotas)

Publisher Journals Coverage Quota License Period How to Apply

Springer Nature  New

All Springer's hybrid and Adis journals Limited (As of end May 2024, 89 out of 153 articles remain for PolyU in 2024)
First-come-first-served for articles accepted within 2024-2026. (FAQ)
2024-2026

Check the procedure here

Wiley  New

All Wiley's hybrid journals and gold OA journals. Limited (As of end March 2024, 140 out of 166 articles remain for PolyU in 2024)
First-come-first-served for articles accepted within 2024-2025. (FAQ)
2024-2025

Check the procedure here

2. Publishers with APC waivers (unlimited quota)

Publisher Journals Coverage License Period How to Apply

American Institute of Mathematical Sciences

All journals with an OA option (i.e. Hybrid OA journals listed in the publisher's webpage)

2022-2024

Authors can submit articles through normal procedure. Make sure the corresponding author is using PolyU affiliation and email.

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)  New

All publications with an OA option (i.e. journal, conference proceedings and technical magazines) 2024-2026

Authors can submit articles through normal procedure. Make sure the corresponding author is using PolyU affiliation and email. (Detailed steps)

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)  New

All journals with an OA option (Excluding Conference Proceedings) 2024-2026

Authors can submit articles through normal procedure. Make sure the corresponding author is using PolyU affiliation and email. (Detailed steps)

Cambridge University Press (CUP)

All journals with an OA option (i.e. Gold OA and Hybrid OA journals)

New add-on starting 2024: Cambridge Prisms & Research Directions Series

2023-2026

Check the procedure here

The Company of Biologists

All journals with an OA option 2023-2025 Check the author guidelines on the publisher's webpage

IOPscience

All IOP's hybrid and gold OA journals (i.e. journals on List A-D) 2023-2025

Authors can submit articles through normal procedure. Make sure the corresponding author is using PolyU affiliation and email.

IWA Publishing

All journals with an OA option 2024-2026 Authors can submit articles through normal procedure. Make sure the corresponding author is using PolyU affiliation and email.

John Benjamins  New

All journals with an OA option 2024 Authors can submit articles through normal procedure. Make sure the corresponding author is using PolyU affiliation and email.

Mark Allen  New

Only for journals in the Internurse and Intermid Collections with an OA option 2024-2026 Authors can submit articles through normal procedure. Make sure the corresponding author is using PolyU affiliation and email.

Microbiology Society

All journals with an OA option 2023-2025 Check the procedure here

Portland Press  New

All journals with an OA option 2024

Authors can submit articles through normal procedure. Make sure the corresponding author is using PolyU affiliation and email.

Rockefeller University Press  New

All journals with an OA option, excluding the journal "Life Science Alliance". 2024-2026

Check the procedure here

SCOAP3

PolyU Library is a member library of JULAC, which is a partner of SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics).

All journals participating in SCOAP3 On going Check the author guidelines on the respective journal page

3. Publishers that offer APC discounts

Publisher Journals Coverage Quota Discount How to Apply

Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)

All journals with an OA option Unlimited 15% discount Authors can submit articles through normal procedure. Make sure the corresponding author is using PolyU affiliation and email. Discount will be automatically applied.

Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

All journals with an OA option Unlimited 15% discount Authors can submit articles through normal procedure. Make sure the corresponding author is using PolyU affiliation and email. Discount will be automatically applied.

Journals that Publish OA Without Charge

Find other journals that publish OA without a charge

Over 11k OA journals publish articles without charging an APC. You can find these journals from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).

Try limiting by Subject area, Publisher, or Language to discover the journals that suit your need! As always, do consider the general criteria for journal selection even for OA journals. 

Be Aware of Predetory Publishers

Many fake or predatory journals and book publishers have emerged since the change in the publishing model. These publishers often require payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC) or Book Processing Charge (BPC) without providing a rigorous peer review process. As an author, you need to be cautious and avoid submitting your work to any of these predatory publishers. Publishing with such publishers may not only ruin your research career, but also harm the credibility of the entire academic community.


Quick tools to help you identify potentially predatory journals:

  • Think. Check. Submit.
    A simple checklist to help researchers identify trusted journals for their research.
  • Beall's list
    A list of potential predatory OA journals and publishers compiled by a librarian. DO NOT submit to any journal or publisher listed here.
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
    The directory of open access, peer-reviewed journals. DO NOT submit to an OA journal that's not indexed in this directory.

Contact us if you need any assistance!


Here are some additional indicators to facilitate journal evaluation:

OA Journal Quality Indicators, adapted from Grand Valley State University Libraries.
  Positive Indicators X   Negative Indicators

►  Journal:

  • Scope - well-defined and clearly stated
  • Primary audience - researchers/practitioners
  • Editor, Editorial Board - recognized experts in the field
  • Background - affiliated with or sponsored by an established scholarly society or academic institution
  • Publishing fees (if any) - easily found on the journal website and clearly explained
  • Copyright policy - clearly indicate the rights for use and re-use of content at article level (e.g., Creative Commons CC-BY license)
  • Has an ISSN (e.g., 1234-5678)
  • Registered in UlrichsWeb, Global Serials Directory
  • Listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
  • Indexed by major subject databases

►  Articles published:

  • Within the scope of the journal and meet the standards of the discipline
  • Have DOIs (e.g., DOI:10.1006/abio.1996.0292)

►  Publisher:

 Journal:

  • Website - difficult to locate or identify
  • Scope absent or extremely vague
  • Editorial Board - real researchers but names are used without their knowledge
  • Instructions to authorsnot available
  • Indexing - falsely claim that the journal is indexed in prestigious professional indexes (e.g. SCIE, SSCI); misrepresent the Impact Factor of the journal
  • Submission fee - ask for submission fee and not refundable
  • Peer review - no peer-review, or unclearly stated
  • Contact information - absent, or using a commercial email domain (e.g., gmail.com)

  Articles published:

  • Out of scope of the journal
  • Repeat lead authors in same issue

  Publisher:

  • Office location - fake or misrepresent (e.g., headquarter in New York but eventually in Nigeria)
  • Direct marketing (i.e., spamming) or other unsolicited advertising
  • Negative reputation (check Beall's list of potential predatory OA journals and publishers)