15 Mar 2013

Open Access LIS Journals

I'm fortunate that I work in an academic library that has a great selection of subscriptions to LIS journals. However, those working as solo librarians or in smaller, special libraries may not have access to such resources. Thankfully there are some great open access journals out there. Below are just a few that I read frequently myself, I would also recommend submitting your own research to them also - keep it open so everyone can read it :)

As an aside I really recommend journal tocs for managing your TOC alerts. There are 242 LIS journals included in the service and it specifically highlights those that are open access also.

Journal of Information Literacy
Evidence Based Library & Information Practice
College & Research Libraries
Library & Information Research
Information Research
Journal of the MLA
Journal of Librarianship & Scholarly Communication
Journal of Library Innovation

If there are any I have missed, please do add a comment! It's unfortunate we don't have an Irish OA LIS journal. I wonder if An Leabharlann will consider making research articles (not necessarily the whole publication) available on an OA basis when they go online? I know that authors can self-archive, but not all LIS professionals have access to an institutional repository for archival purposes.

The research-practitioner divide in LIS is lessening I feel, and I think most of the above titles do a good job of eroding any such differences. Good articles with good results are worth publishing; it doesn't matter whether they primarily address theoretical aspects or issues for practice. However, LIS journals have not traditionally had as prestigious a reputation as other fields (I always say, there's no NEJM in LIS!). This makes journal rankings and impact factors even less relevant (or even meaningless) in LIS than other fields in my view. Instead, I think who your intended audience is, should probably drive where you publish, and by publishing OA you can ensure than everyone you are targeting can potentially read your work. There is an interesting paper from 2012 that explores the position of OA titles in a ranking of LIS journals by Jingfeng Xia which is also worth a look!


  1. Thank you for mentioning JournalTOCs. This also may be of interestt: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/about/news/ifla-oa-articles-2013.htm