With the advent of internet (and common sense) there is more and more demand for open-access research. Several researchers (including me) find it frustrating that published peer-reviewed research articles are behind paywalls. I am looking for journals and conferences (related to theoretical computer science, graph theory, combinatorics, combinatorial optimization) that make all accepted publications freely available to everyone.

Some such journals are Theory of Computing, The Electronic Journal of Combinatorics, Logical Methods in Computer Science

If you know more such journals (or) conferences, please mention them in your answers.

EDIT : As suggested by David Eppstein in his answer, I am adding one more constraint. Please write only those journals/conferences that do not charge authors exorbitant fees to publish.

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    It would be useful if each answer indicated whether the journals are on the SCI index. That's important for many people in Europe. – Andrej Bauer Dec 18 '11 at 8:11

15 Answers 15

Conferences with proceedings published in the LIPIcs series:

  • STACS
  • FSTTCS
  • CCC (since 2015)
  • TQC (Theory of Quantum Computation, Communication and Cryptography)
  • ICALP
  • APPROX/RANDOM
  • SoCG
  • SWAT
  • ESA

Perhaps you should also ask that the journal not charge authors exorbitant fees to publish?

The Journal of Graph Algorithms and Applications and the Journal of Computational Geometry are free in both senses.

The Directory of Open Access Journals has a Computer Science category

Though it lists some of the journals already mentioned, I thought I'd share the link since it's an interesting resource. Listings indicate whether there is a publication fee.

Papers on Graph Theory are also appearing on Ars Mathematica Contemporanea , which is indexed by SCI.

The journal Discrete Mathematics & Theoretical Computer Science is also open and indexed by SCI.

Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science is an open access series publishing workshop and conference proceedings. No charges for authors and proceedings editors.

Journal of Universal Computer Science, it is on the SCI index.

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research publishes work that (at least from 10000 feet) includes theoretical computer science, graph theory, and combinatorial optimization.

  • Note that JAIR requires authors to sign an exclusive copyright transfer form jair.org/copyright.pdf and that their license for online articles includes some strange restrictions jair.org/license.html that makes it incompatible with truly open licenses like CC-BY. – a3nm Jul 18 '17 at 12:35
  • @a3nm That's a good thing as far as I'm concerned. I'm all for remix art, but remix science is not something we need in these times. – DavidDLewis Jul 18 '17 at 16:32
  • Note that the license in question also disallows redistribution of verbatim copies in some cases, e.g., "Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Licessee may not publish, distribute, or sell complete volumes of JAIR in print, book, or journal form." As for remixing, there are lots of valid reasons to make derivative works of scientific articles, so I don't think it's a good idea to restrict them just because some derivative works would be undesirable. – a3nm Jul 18 '17 at 23:30

The International Conference on Database Theory (ICDT) publishes its proceedings in the LIPIcs series. It is essentially the European-based database theory conference, with PODS (not open-access) being the American-based one.

There is a more detailed list of open-access venues in data management research and other neighboring areas on this page. (Disclaimer: I was involved in setting up the page.)

The Discrete Analysis Journal, which works as a peer-reviewed overlay for arXiv, includes among its topics "theoretical computer science" (and, for instance, computational complexity.

From their website:

Discrete Analysis is an arXiv overlay journal. This means that while we have a conventional editorial board and refereeing process, we do not host the articles we accept or offer a formatting and copy-editing service. Instead, we simply link to preprints that are posted on the arXiv, which we believe amply meets the needs of our readers. As a result, the cost of running the journal, while not quite zero, is extremely low. Therefore, there are no charges for authors (and obviously none for readers, since the accepted papers are on the arXiv).

One issue appears to be that it does not mint DOIs (?).

To stir the pot a bit, I will add Algorithms. Publication fees are ~$300. Some of the papers seem to have ridiculously short turnaround times, but there are some people on the Editorial Board that I know and some people that I respect.

Although this doesn't seem to be widely advertised, and it's not clear to me whether or not SIAM policy makes these open access forever [can someone clarify?], many of the SIAM conferences currently have freely available official proceedings:

UPDATE: a3nm contacted SIAM directly about the SODA proceedings, and they said they did not guarantee open access in perpetuity :(. But least they are OA for now!

  • I have emailed SIAM about the SODA proceedings, asking whether they would be officially available in OA or not. The answer was "We cannot guarantee that the proceedings will open access in perpetuity." In addition, authors still have to sign an exclusive copyright transfer form. For these two reasons, I wouldn't count these conferences as open access. – a3nm Jul 18 '17 at 12:01
  • @a3nm: Thanks for checking. Bummer! I agree with your assessment, but at least they are OA for now... – Joshua Grochow Jul 19 '17 at 15:38
  • Yes they are, but from their answer, I'm not sure that they are even doing it on purpose. :) I wouldn't count on it. – a3nm Jul 19 '17 at 21:37

Springer's International Journal of Parallel Programming offers authors the option to publish openly. They offer online first and open access articles, both with feeds available.

(I guess they have other journals with the same, but I have not checked.)

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    "Online first" does not mean open access; those articles are still behind the paywall (unless they happen to be open access articles). – Jukka Suomela Dec 18 '11 at 0:08
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    And yes, all Springer journals offer the option to publish openly. However, it means that you will have to pay 2000 EUR (or 3000 USD) for each article! – Jukka Suomela Dec 18 '11 at 0:09
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    Did not know that, sorry. In that case, this is certainly not a valid answer to the question. I will leave it on as a bad example and a reminder that Springer is, indeed, "evil". – Raphael Dec 18 '11 at 20:54
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    2000 EUR? I'm speechless. – Anthony Labarre Dec 20 '11 at 15:37
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    Outside of academia, publishers who charge their authors for the privilege of being published are known as vanity presses. – David Eppstein Jan 14 '12 at 1:01

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