I found a list of "potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers" here.

I am just wondering if there is a similar list of reputable open-access journals in the social sciences.


5 Answers 5


I would suggest going about this a slightly different way. The reputation of journals derives from views of scholars in a particular discipline. There are many closed access journals that are not very reputable and many open access journals that are reputable. You can figure out the ones that are reputable by looking at three things:

  1. What journals are being cited in other journals of known reputation? Journals that get citations in other journals are likely to be publishing decent research. This is not a guarantee, of course.
  2. Who is publishing in the journal? Reputable scholars tend to publish in reputable outlets. If a journal has prominent scholars publishing good work there, it's probably a decent journal. This is not a guarantee, of course.
  3. Who sponsors and publishes the journal? Reputable journals (especially in the social sciences) tend to be published by or endorsed by scholarly associations. This is not a guarantee, of course.

Thus, rather than trying to find a list of reputable journals, think about how you would evaluate any particular journal. If you find correct answers to any of the above questions, there is a good sign it is a reputable journal since the idea of "reputation" is a social construction that reflect precisely the above criteria.


The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is an attempt to create such a list for all fields, including the social sciences:

DOAJ is an online directory that indexes and provides access to quality open access, peer-reviewed journals.

They have a search function that lets you drill down to specific fields.

  • 7
    DOAJ is a useful reference, but it's worth noting that it's not 100% reliable: building a long list of good journals is much harder than building a list of bad journals. For example, in mathematics DOAJ includes the "Research Journal of Pure Algebra" (doaj.org/toc/5423b3e616b74dac9205ff787f86d0aa). I can't say for sure whether this is a reputable journal, since I can find almost no information about it on the web, but their entire web site seems to have died with a message of "This account has been suspended". This is a bad sign, and all the published papers seem to be inaccessible. Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 13:10

OnlineSchools.org produces a list of various open access journals. While I can't say all are reputable, most look like they point to well established and credible organizations or educational institutions.


I am not aware of a list of "reputable" open access journals in the social sciences. But, as a safe starting point, the most reputable open access journals in the social sciences have an ISI impact factor.

  • 3
    Do you mean reputable or infamous? The vast majority of Elsevier journals have ISI impact factors.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 9:13
  • @StrongBad what's infamous about Elsevier journals?
    – Cape Code
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 13:33
  • @Jigg how about thecostofknowledge.com
    – StrongBad
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 13:54

The real problem (and probably the reason for this predatory journal explosion) is that the classic journals have become abusive and predatory themselves. For example Springer/Nature journals will reject your paper without explanation and direct you to one of their fee-paying open access for guaranteed acceptance on resubmission. Worse, the old classic journals do not do peer review often, make decisions based on profitability of your paper and sometimes take months or even over a year to respond. Some do not ever respond. This includes Springer/Nature which did not respond at all to a submission and did not respond to the inquiry about why they did not respond. So, may be these predatory journals are just as predatory as the old corrupted ones. We may have to switch to the new era.

  • Welcome to academia.SE. This is a question and answer site and answers are supposed to answer the question. Could you edit your answer to include a list of reputable open access journals, or instructions on how to identify such?
    – Tommi
    Commented Jun 6, 2019 at 11:01

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