Skip to Main Content
Research Guides@Tufts

Student Publications at Tufts

Open Access

What is open access?

Open access is about making research literature freely available on the Internet with few copyright or license restrictions.  Many open access articles utilize a Creative Commons license, which generally encourages sharing.

See Open Access: Scholarly Communication @Tufts for more information.

How does open access aid discoverability of publications?

Often times open articles can be found more places than just where they are first published since the author and others have rights to self-archive in a repository, like the Tufts Digital Library, and otherwise post it more broadly.  This improves the findability by search engines and through web surfing.  In addition, search engines can more readily crawl the entire full text of open access material, beyond just the citation information and abstract.

Why is discoverability important?

There are many reasons, including to:

  • enlarge readership
  • diversify readership
  • increase citation numbers
  • increase usefulness
  • drive innovation
  • enhance collaboration


What is an ISSN?

An International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is an international unique identifier for a serial publication.  It can make it easier to find a specific publication and disambiguate it from other similar publications.

How do I register my publication for an ISSN?

Assignment of ISSNs is handled by the U.S. ISSN Center at the Library of Congress and is free.  Fill out a New ISSN Application Form and provide the required supporting documentation.  Allow 6-8 weeks for the request to be processed.


What is a DOI?

A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a unique identifier, often displayed as a persistent link, to material intended for sharing with an interested user community or managing as intellectual property. The identifiers can be assigned to journals, individual articles, specific images/figures, as well as other materials.

URL format:

How do I get a DOI?

Publishers can become a paid member of a DOI registration agency, such as CrossRef, which covers journal articles or DataCite, which covers datasets.  Members can then register new DOI names, also at a cost. 

See the DOI® Handbook for more information.


What is indexing?

Indexes provide a structure to data, which allows for faster and easier retrieval of the specific information of interest.  Including the material in an index is known as indexing. Having your publication included in appropriate index allows others to discover it more easily. Ensure your publication's copyright policy/author agreement doesn't prohibit indexing.

Where should my publication be indexed?

Where to index your content depends on what it is.  There is typically no charge for these services.  Examples include:

Ulrich's Periodical Directory

  • ISSN strongly encouraged
  • email with the name of the publication, as well as name of the publisher/provider of the publication.  An editor will follow up with the publisher/provider.

Directory of Open Access Journals

Google Scholar

Subject Databases

  • to find field-specific or multidpsciplinary article databases appropriate for your publication, look at the 'Abstracting & Indexing' section for other similar publications in Ulrich's Perdiodical Directory
  • the criteria and selection process for each database will vary.  Examples of multidisciplinary article databases include: