Open Access is a means of dramatically lowering barriers to reading many publications; however, it can sometimes be difficult to determine if a publication has also undergone peer or editorial review. For researchers looking to search or browse collections of such works there is the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). While publishers have to apply to have their content indexed in both resources, the criteria for including a journal in the DOAJ are especially detailed. For example, publishers have to explain their peer review process, reveal if they charge authors money to submit or publish an article, describe their licensing terms, and open access logoprovide details about any digital archiving policies they might have in place. These expectations make DOAB and DOAJ trusted sources to help researchers find stable and credible scholarly content.

The Directory of Open Access Books is a portal where academic publishers can provide information about their open access publications. Books can only be submitted by publishers, and DOAB checks their peer review policies before adding books. Works can be browsed by title, subject, or publisher or there is a basic and advanced search. At the bottom of each work is a link to the publisher provided abstract and online access, as well as a link to purchase a paper copy of the work. It should also be noted that books are freely accessible to read electronically, but that does not mean they are not copyrighted or have other restrictions on use.

Similarly, the Directory of Open Access Journals is a database of peer reviewed journals and periodicals that do not charge readers for access. Journals can be browsed by subject or searched by title, keyword, publisher, and other criteria. Search results also include articles within the journals linked to DOAJ.

Creators wishing to make their own works Open Access can place materials on Illinois State University’s institutional repository, ISU ReD. Creators do not surrender any of their copyrights by placing an item on ISU ReD, unless they specifically declare otherwise. Members of Milner Library’s Scholarly Communication Team are always happy to talk with creators about adding new or existing publications and reaching a wider audience.

If you wish to discuss these options further, for current or already published research, please contact Milner Library’s Scholarly Communication Team at

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