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Publishing Your Work

A guide with pages on publishing Gold or Green OA, publication agreement language, and more.

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Publishing Directly in OA Journals

Publishing open access makes your work more widely available to fellow researchers, and can benefit you through a 20%+ citation advantage¹! Follow the steps below to get started on publishing your work open access.


Cartoon graphic of a compass1. Navigating the DOAJ

In order to locate an open access journal in which to publish your work navigate to the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) site. To browse their journals locate the "Search" dropdown menu at the top left and select "Journals."

The results can be filtered to those with a DOAJ seal, as well as by subject, language, publisher, etc.


2. Understanding the DOAJ Seal

The DOAJ seal is awarded to journals that conform to best practice standards in open access publishing, and only about 10% of journals indexed in the DOAJ have earned it. The seven criteria used to evaluate journals are the following:

  • Digital Preservation
    • Journal content must be deposited continuously in an archiving agency in the Keepers Registry, Internet Archive, or PubMed Central

DOAJ Seal logo

  • Persistent Article Identifiers
    • Use one type of article identifier for all articles in journal
    • All permalinks/persistent links must resolve correctly
  • Metadata
    • Article metadata must be uploaded to the DOAJ regularly
  • License Type
    • The journal must permit the use of a Creative Commons license that allows the creation of derivative products.
      • This is so that articles can be used for future writing/research
  • License Information in Articles
    • CC licensing info must be displayed in all full-text article formats
  • Copyright and Publishing Rights
    • Authors must retain unrestricted copyright and all publishing rights when publishing under any license permitted by the journal
  • Self-Archiving Policy
    • Authors must be permitted to deposit all versions of their paper in an institutional or subject repository.
    • An embargo may not be applied


Drawing of a checklist on a clipboard3. Evaluating Journals

Once you've located a journal that you may want to publish in, open its DOAJ listing to evaluate the following aspects:

  • Article Processing Charge (APC)
  • CC License Used
  • Journal Aims & Scope
  • Journal Instructions for Authors
  • Average Article Processing Time
  • Author Rights Retained
  • Link to Journal Archiving Policy


A graphic of different forms of payment4. APC Payment

  • If your funder/grant covers an Article Processing Charge (APC), you will need to refer to their policies on the payment of your APC.
  • If your funder/grant does not cover the APC, you will be responsible for the payment and will need to refer to the payment policies of the journal.
    • If the APC of a journal in which you wish to publish is not financially feasible for you, consider the following options:
      • Evaluate the journal’s fee waiver options to see if you qualify
      • Return to the list of DOAJ journals to find one with a lower APC
      • Return to the list of DOAJ journals and filter to those without fees

If you are frustrated with the intricacies and cost of APCs, speak with a librarian about scholarly communications via


Drawing of paper airplane flying    5. Publication

Now that you have selected a journal and determined how your APC will be paid, all that is left is to submit your work for publication!


¹Ottaviani, J. (2016). The post-embargo open access citation advantage: It exists (probably), its modest (usually), and the rich get richer (of course). PLoS ONE, 11(8).

The University of Missouri-Kansas City Libraries currently have no funding available for Article Processing Charges (APCs) or other types of author fees, and no sources are currently available from the UMKC administration.  The Libraries continue to investigate the possibilities of so-called “Transformative Agreements” with publishers which would help to defray these costs for UMKC authors, but at this time do not have any to announce.

We will certainly continue to work on this issue.