I released the first version of the LOAMJ in 2016 in an effort to provide a single, comprehensive list of open-access journals focusing on music. A second version (launched May – December 2016), incorporated about 100 journal links and sorted them into categories. The third version (October 2019) is no longer a simple list but a searchable database; it went live with 149 total entries. The fourth version (June – July 2020) added in new categories (including information on peer-review policies) and divided the LOAMJ into a primary list and a supplemental list.
The current version has 182 entries. Thirty-seven of the journals are inactive. So there are 145 active open-access scholarly journals in the list.
The LOAMJ contains peer-reviewed academic journals; the supplemental list contains several other resources, including the newsletters of scholarly societies, specialized magazines on musical topics, blogs, and personal websites containing significant scholarly material.
All resources are freely accessible. The database indicates how many years’ worth of material from each journal are posted online and how many issues each journal posts in a typical year. Journals labeled “inactive” show no sign of updating their website or posting new material for at least the last two years. Journals whose websites list publication fees have this information listed in their “APC” (article processing charges) column. In some cases, correspondence with editors has allowed me to post information about publication fees that is not apparent from a journal’s site.
As of June 2020, I have sorted the LOAMJ into two lists: the main list, which focuses on traditional scholarly journals, and the supplemental list, which focuses on conference proceedings, journalism, criticism, and interviews. In addition, I have made a database of paywalled journals which allow authors to publish individual articles in them for a fee (“hybrid” open access).
LOAMJ v. 4 was launched in July 2020. It includes new categories designed to help readers evaluate the relevance and credibility of each journal, such as the type of peer review used, the journal’s presence in an index (as far as I was able to verify it), available information editorial boards, ties to publishers, etc. In addition, v.4 was the first version to focus exclusively on music journals only (so that journals focusing on the arts in general, or sound studies, are no longer included)
Click on the magnifying class at the top right of the database. This will bring up a search box, allowing you to search all fields of the database for keywords.
You can also filter column by a specific attribute–this can be more precise than keyword searching.
The database has a unique column for languages, so that you can search only for journals in Spanish, German, etc. You can also search by country, or by academic discipline (see below).
Country tags are also found in the keyword column. These relate to a journal’s unique focus on the music of a particular country (often the journal’s country of origin, but not always).
Discipline searching uses the following keywords. I’ve adopted these partly from the descriptions available on each journal’s website, but have also assigned some based on my impression of a journal’s content. I’ve tried to use a limited set of terms, so that users will not have to search separately for “musicology” and “music history,” for example. Similarly, all fields with “studies” commonly included in their names have had this word omitted.
Here are the most commonly used discipline keywords in the database. Note that as this is a database of music journals, any discipline with “music” in its title has been shortened, to simplify recording keeping.
Composition—refers to discussion of active composers with a focus on compositional technique
Composer—a journal focused on a single composer, such as Carl Nielsen Studies
Education—music education at any level
Electronic—electronic media in music, regardless of genre
Ethnomusicology—the discipline of ethnomusicology, and used instead of “world music” in some cases
Folk—for content related to traditional music or orally transmitted musical cultures
History—the discipline known as music history or musicology
Interdisciplinary—a journal which is open to submissions in multiple areas of musical study
Jazz—any aspect of jazz music
Librarianship—a journal focused on issues in music librarianship
Performance—analytical study of music in performance
Popular—any type of popular music
Technology—any type of music technology
In addition, keywords related to disciplines outside of music, such as dance, theater, anthropology, etc. are occasionally used.
The “Indexes” column states whether a journal is cataloged in a database. I have largely focused on internationally accessible databases such as RILM, ERIH Plus, DOAJ, KOAJ, J-Stage, etc.
If you are on the editorial staff of one of these journals and would me to revise your journal entry, please be in touch: this is a one-person operation and human error is the most likely the cause of any inaccuracy.
Similarly, if you represent an open-access music journal that isn’t on the list, I would love to hear from you.