Discovering Open Access Engineering Journals

An Examination of Indexing Rates for DOAJ and Non-DOAJ Content


  • James Bierman



This study examines the indexing of open access journals in the engineering disciplines. The sample used in this study was generated from a title listing pulled from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) in late 2013. Indexing data from four prominent commercial databases in the discipline, Compendex, Web of Science, Inspec, and Scopus, were gathered in late 2017. The four-year interval was a critical component to the methodology, in that it provided sufficient time for these open journals to establish themselves in the research marketplace and earn the attention of leading indexers. The study found that while no single database provided excellent coverage of the open access content, in aggregate, the four databases indexed journals currently listed by the DOAJ reasonably well. The study also found that the four commercial databases indexed current DOAJ content at a much higher rate than content that was no longer listed in the DOAJ.

Author Biography

James Bierman

Engineering Librarian
University of Oklahoma
Norman, Oklahoma


Beall, J. 2012. Predatory publishers are corrupting open access. Nature 489 (7415): 179. DOI: 10.1038/489179a

Berger, M. & Cirasella, J. 2015. Beyond Beall's list. College & Research Libraries News 76(3): 132-135. Available from:

COPE. 2018. Core Practices. Available from:

Cummings, J. 2013. Open access journal content found in commercial full-text aggregation databases and Journal Citation Reports. New Library World 114 (3/4):166-178. DOI: 10.1108/03074801311304078

Cusker, J. & Rauh, A.E. 2014. A survey of physical sciences, engineering and mathematics faculty regarding author fees in open access journals. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship 78. DOI: 10.5062/F4VH5KTQ

DOAJ. 2018a. Principles of Transparency and Best Practices in Scholarly Publishing. Available from:

DOAJ. 2018b. Frequently Asked Questions: About. Available from:

Elsevier. 2018. How Scopus Works: Content. Available from:

Evans, S., Thompson, H., & Watkins, A. 2011. Discovering open access art history: a comparative study of the indexing of open access art journals. The Serials Librarian 61: 168-188. DOI: 10.1080/0361526X.2011.592666

Fisher, J., Hart, E., & Yonyz, E. 2009. Are they being indexed II? A follow-up to tracking the indexing and abstracting of open access journals. Proceedings of the Charleston Library Conference. DOI: 10.5703/1288284314740

Hart, E. 2010. Indexing open access law journals...or maybe not. International Journal of Legal Information 38 (1): 19-41. Available from:

IET. 2018. Documentation: Free Lists of the Journals Covered by Inspec. Available from:

Laakso M., Welling P., Bukvova H., Nyman L., Bjork B-C. & Hedlund T. 2011. The development of open access journal publishing from 1993 to 2009. PLoS ONE 6(6): e20961. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020961

OASPA. 2018. Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. Available from:

Poulin, S. & Tomaszewski, R. 2014. Open access journals in communication studies: indexing in five commercial databases. Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian 33 (3): 3-14. DOI: 10.1080/01639269.2014.866019

Suber, P. 2015. Open Access Overview. Available from:

Testa, M. 2016. Availability and discoverability of open-access journals in music. Music Reverence Services Quarterly 19 (1): 1-17. DOI: 10.1080/10588167.2016.1130386

van Noorden, R. 2014. Open-access web site gets tough. Nature 512 (7512): 17. DOI: 10.1038/512017a

Yontz, E. & Fisher, J. 2007. Are they being indexed? tracking the indexing and abstracting of open access journals. Charleston Conference Proceedings 2007: 126.


Additional Files



How to Cite

Bierman, J. (2019). Discovering Open Access Engineering Journals: An Examination of Indexing Rates for DOAJ and Non-DOAJ Content. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, (91).