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Research Guides

Getting Published: An Introduction to Issues in Scholarly Publishing

Supports the Getting Published Workshop Series offered by UTL on the St. George campus.

Journal Comparison Tools

If you are unfamiliar with journals in your field, or want to compare journals you know with other similar journals, there are comparison tools that will help with your evaluation process:

 “JCR” provides citation measures for journals across over many subject categories, most notably the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) amongst others. You may browse by these categories or look up individual known journals and compare with others in their category.

Provides information about journals, such as their publishing frequency, location, language, audience, peer review status and more.

Other helpful links:

Journal Finder Tools

There are also a growing number of automated journal selection tools that will match up elements of your article, such as its title, abstract, or keywords with publications that might be in scope.
If you have these journal article elements on hand, use these tools to find publications that might be most appropriate for publishing your research.

Open Access

"Open access (OA) refers to online research outputs that are free of all restrictions on access (e.g., access tolls) and free of many restrictions on use (e.g. certain copyright and license restrictions).Open access can be applied to all forms of published research output, including peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed academic journal articles, conference paperstheses, book chapters, and monographs Wikipedia


Underlying principle

"Removing access barriers to this literature will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge" Budapest Open Access Initiative


How is Open Access Achieved? 

Gold OA

Publication in an online, peer-reviewed OA journals, which allows immediate access to users free of charge. An OA journal may or may not charge a publishing fee - this is usually paid for by the author, author's employer, or the funding agency supporting this research. This fee is referred to as article processing charges (APCs). Thirty to fifty per cent of OA journals require the author to pay a publication fee to help defray publishing costs.

Traditional publishers can offer open access options: Elsevier

There are also many open access publishers: Public Library of Science (PLOS)

To find more open access journals visit: 

Check journals in your discipline using the Subjects filter (on the left side) in Advanced search.


Green OA

Author self-archiving of scholarly materials in an OA repository. This can either an institutional repository maintained by a research institution (e.g. U of T's TSpace) or a subject repository (e.g. arXiv). Green OA endorses immediate open access self-archiving, but many non-OA publishers often have restrictions on the version you can deposit and when the item can be deposited (check for an embargo period).

Many of these journals allow for self-archiving of pre-prints (paper before peer-review) and post-prints (paper after peer-review revisions, but before published version of an article).

Check your journal here:

Find out more about open access support at the University of Toronto Libraries 


Barriers and tensions

  • Academic culture, e.g. tenure and promotion policies, concerns with prestige and impact
  • Commercial publishing models


OA mandates & policies

Governments, institutions and funding bodies may have OA mandates (OA is required) or guidelines. 

SHERPA/JULIET can help you find funders' Open Access policies

Tri-Agency Open Access Policy 

  •  CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC grant recipients must ensure that peer-reviewed journal publications arising from Agency-supported research are freely accessible within 12 months of publication.
  • Learn how to comply with this policy 

Other examples