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Is there any free (as in free beer, i.e., no publication fees or other fees whatsoever), open-access (free and open access to everyone) and peer-reviewed mathematics journal?

I am interested in a list of journals. I am particularly interested in my field which is low dimensional topology and geometry and geometric group theory.

The observation how well a site like MathOverflow or Math Stack Exchange works makes me wonder if a similar system does exist for the peer-reviewing and publication process itself.

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I believe The Electronic Journal of Combinatorics ( qualifies. But this is of course not a general journal. – Sam Hopkins Feb 15 at 15:26
@Sam Thanks for posting this comment. I found that journal and was delighted to see that the articles weren't much beyond my understanding. Do you know any more journals like this ? – user230452 Feb 16 at 0:24
Theory and Applications of Categories – David Roberts Feb 16 at 2:12
Thanks for the clarification; I added it to the main post. – user9072 Feb 16 at 9:03
@user230452, a comment on a question is not the place to ask a very different question. I suggest you ask it instead as a question on its own (and not here, but on – Gerry Myerson Feb 17 at 22:13

15 Answers 15

You're asking for "diamond" open access (to contrast with the gold open access --- peer reviewed but not free --- and the green open access --- free but not peer reviewed). Here are some math journals of this type, that use arXiv as a repository (socalled "overlay journals"):

A more complete list can be accessed here.

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Well, there is some terminological conventions that vary. In some circle, Gold OA means that a journal opens its (typeset) articles, whtether or not they charge for publishing; and Green OA means that a journal allows the peer-reviewed, but not typeset "postprint" to be made available in a repository by the authors. Just to mention that most Green OA articles are peer-reviewed, just not typeset by the journal. – Benoît Kloeckner Feb 15 at 15:50

Yes; only in my research area there are two: ETNA (Electronic Transactions on Numerical Analysis) and ELA (Electronic Journal of Linear Algebra). They are both from noncommercial publishers, one funded by a university and one by a professional society.

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The New York Journal of Mathematics ( is a peer reviewed and free online general math journal. It has been publishing since the mid-1990s. It is not an ArXiv overlay journal. Published articles appear on the journal website.

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As other answers mention, such journals certainly exist. Two examples of general journals that fit this definition are

Journal de l'École polytechnique — Mathématiques

Documenta Mathematica

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There are plenty of journals which charge no fees, and online access is free. I am surprised that nobody mentioned the Bulletin of the AMS.

Some other examples are Conformal Geometry and Dynamics (electronic only):

Journal of mathematical Physics, analysis and geometry (only electronic version is free),

All these are peer-reviewed and actually of high quality.

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BAMS is not a typical mathematics journal, in that it publishes no or hardly any original research, but mostly surveys/expositions and book reviews. The Notices of AMS are free too, but the same applies (though in a different way). – user9072 Feb 16 at 8:32

Annales de l'Institut Fourier are now an open access journal:

Some other journals in France (serious but less known):

Confluentes Mathematici:

North-Western European Journal of Mathematics:

One can also mention the Electronic Journal of Differential Equations which exists since 1993

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The Bulletin of the Iranian Mathematical Society is free access and peer-reviewed journal publishing in English.

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(+1) And with reasonable time of review. – Ali Taghavi Feb 18 at 8:35

INTEGERS: The Electronic Journal of Combinatorial Number Theory

Published since its inception 15+ years ago as free and peer-reviewed electronic journal; by now it is in addition available in print (not freely, of course).

In addition to Combinatorial Number Theory, as the name indicates, it also has a focus on Game Theory.

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Australasian Journal of Combinatorics:

Moved a couple of years ago from print/subscription to online/free, using the accumulated surplus from many years of small profits on subscriptions to fund the ongoing costs (which are not very high).

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There are two excellent (new) open access journals from Cambridge University Press:

Forum of Mathematics, Sigma:


Forum of Mathematics, Pi:

I think they both cover the spectrum of pure mathematics (though they don't say 'pure' in their descriptions)

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So, the first is for papers about sums, and the second, for papers about products? – Gerry Myerson Feb 17 at 22:14
Seems to have APC = Article Processing Charge ... – Gerald Edgar Feb 17 at 23:08
they say, "for the first three years Cambridge University Press will waive the publication charges" and it also says that only authors with access to funds will be expected to pay (indeed I published in the one on sums and did not have to pay) – JamesM Feb 17 at 23:43
As stated on their webpage (e.g. here ) papers submitted after Jan.1 2016 will be charged APC after acceptance, if the authors have access to funds. But I cannot find anywhere on their website how much the APC is! – YangMills Jun 8 at 16:00

Two more FAPP (for all practical purposes). Nobody mentioned them.

With slighty more applied emphasis

All issues besides the current one (four per year) are open access and there are no fees.

Also, don't forget PNAS. Open access after one year. Very fast reviewing. PNAS has always published top quality short mathematical papers.

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It has occasionally published some less than top quality papers (at least one of which was not properly copy-edited, in my opinion) – Yemon Choi Feb 18 at 13:19
"Open access: Authors of research articles may pay a surcharge of $1,350 to make their paper freely available through PNAS open access option." – Turion May 31 at 8:32
That's for immediate open access. PNAS becomes open without payment after about a year. – Guido Jorg Jun 24 at 1:07

Journal of Integer Sequences:

Electronic Journal of Qualitative Theory of Differential Equations

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The original question asked about low dimensional topology and geometry. For sufficiently algorithmic research in these areas, the Journal of Computational Geometry may be relevant. For instance, a recent issue includes a paper on the space complexity of recognizing low-dimensional manifolds.

Another algorithmic journal that I regularly publish in, free-as-in-beer to both authors and readers, is the Journal of Graph Algorithms and Applications.

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International Journal of Group Theory is a free peer-reviewed journal published by the University of Isfahan in English.

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The Far Eastern Mathematical Journal is free access and peer-reviewed journal publishing in Russian and English.

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