open access journals

Collaborative list in the field of art, art therapy and psychology

A large amount of scientific articles lying on the floor

Mea culpa. I did not publish my first scientific article Open Access (OA) and even with Elsevier; for the simple reason that The Arts in Psychotherapy is an internationally known journal when it comes to art therapy and has an impact factor. In the current academic life as well as considerung my cumulative dissertation these are relevant criteria.

Like many other scientists today, I would not publish with Elsevier any more. Ideally, in the future I want to to publish only freely accessible articles. To find out if this is possible in my field, I have done some research in the last few weeks and created a collaborative list of possibly relevant journals. Spoiler: There is a growing number. The current state, however, is far from ideal.


When investigating in my transdisciplinary field somewhere between art, art therapy and psychology, I systematically selected journals that meet the following criteria:

  1. Thematic fit
    (art, art therapy, art psychology, art education, esthetics, psychology, etc.)
  2. Full open access or at least hybrid
  3. Peer-reviewed
  4. Internationality / English language
  5. Impact factor
  6. No Predatory Journals
  7. No Elsevier journals

room to improve

One of the first search engines I checked is the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), a website which was recommended by Ina Blümel, my mentor in the Open Science Fellows Program. The website allows a targeted search of journals and articles in different fields. When it comes to my field of research, it looks bleaker. If you are a journal publisher or editor, you can apply for your journal to be included in the database and will be found more easily.

I continued to search the websites of science publishers. Unfortunately, most of them are quite confusing. I’ve been looking for information for a long time and even after I’ve broken through a jungle of links, some provide no specific information. More transparency and user-friendliness would be desirable.

During my research, I also read that, unfortunately, the American Psychological Association, the most influential international psychological society, at present only partially supports OA. Again, there is potential for development.

Then there is the dilemma between OA vs. impact factor. Even if the concept of impact factors is quite controversial, it is (still) a relevant criterion in the current scientific community. If an impact factor is not relevant to you, you will definitely find a fitting journal for publishing your article in our field. But unfortunately, at the present time there are only a few journals that meet both criteria.

In short: There is room for improvement. The current state is not ideal, but a start.

Screenshot of the collaborative list

list of journals

A list of the journals I’ve encountered so far can be found in this collaborative Ethercalc web spreadsheet, as .xlsx or .csv. It can also be downloaded. The list is not exhaustive. You are welcome to add more journals, that meet the criteria mentioned above, and add your experience with the journals included. Knowledge shared is knowledge doubled.

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