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University Library Zurich

How to find a journal for my Open Access publication?

What are Open Access journals?

In open access journals, all articles are publicly available on the journal website as open access. Journals in which only individual articles are open access are referred to as "hybrid" journals.

How do I find an Open Access journal?

The following tools and platforms can help you to find an adequate journal for your manuscript:

  • The Directory of Open Access Journals is probably the most comprehensive database for Open Access journals to date. You can filter by subject area, by costs ("yes/no" APCs), whether you want to keep the rights to the manuscript, publisher, license, language, etc.
  • The oa.finder of the contains data from OpenAPC, DOAJ, Scopus, and the Journal Checker Tool, as well as information on the publication contracts of the institutes in Germany and, for the most part, Switzerland. The data of the UZH are completely recorded in the oa.finder. At the moment, the oa.finder is only available in German.
  • B!SON is an open access journal recommender that uses semantic and bibliometric methods to make suggestions for possible Open Access journals. To use the tool, you need to provide either an abstract, important keywords or references. The data stems from the DOAJ.

Disclaimer: With all three tools, data are enriched and collected from external sources. Please always also check with the journal directly to ensure that the information in the tool is correct before deciding on a journal.

How to use the DOAJ?

1. Go to the website of the Directory of Open Access Journals.

2. Click on "Search" and then "Journals" to view all filter options.

screenshot doaj start

We can recommend the following filter options:

  • See Journals..:
    • "without fees": shows Platinum Open Access Journals
    • "with a DOAJ seal": journal fulfills certain quality criteria of the DOAJ
    • "Author retains all rights": Authors retain all rights to publications in these journals.
  • Subjects: Select the appropriate subject area for your manuscript. Multiple selections are possible.
  • Publishers: Choose the publishers you trust.
screenshot of doaj with filter options explained


You can also decide on additional filter options, for instance the license with which the publication should be openly available.

How to use the oa.finder?

  1. Go to the website of the oa.finder. (The oa.finder is currently only available in German)
  2. In the field "My organization", enter Universität Zürich (or one of the associated hospitals).
screenshot oa finder start

3.      You can then use the various facets to filter by subject, APC, type of access, etc.

screenshot oa finder mit erläuterungen zu den filtern

4.      You can find information on the access options by hovering over the question mark.

screenshot oa finder erläuterungen zum oa filter

Some common inquiries

  • Do you want to find suitable journals for your subject area? Select the filter options "Subject area" accordingly and set suitable keywords if necessary. Additional option: Select the publishers in which your subject area is published and which you trust.
  • Do you only want to display Diamond Open Access journals? Select the filter "Gold Open Access" and set the APCs to 0.
  • Do you want to view the transformation contracts of UZH? Click on the tab "Transformationsverträge an Ihrer Einrichtung". There you can also list the journals included in the contracts.

How to use B!SON

  1. Go to the website of B!SON.
  2. Enter either the title, abstract or a selection of references of your manuscript in the appropriate fields. It is not necessary to fill in all fields.

3.       Additionally, you can change the filters to get more specific results. Clicking on the journal title will provide you with additional information.

screenshot of b!son filter in English


Weiterführende Informationen

Questions about Open Access?

Margit Dellatorre

Tessa Gerber

Laetitia Kaiser

Samuel Nussbaum

Samuel Weber-Martin

+41 44 635 41 62