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Publishing Academic Research: Choosing Quality - Journals

This guide provides information about strategic publishing, publishing agreements, Open Access and ERA specifications.

Choosing a publisher - all publishers are not equal

The quality of a publisher is an important consideration when choosing where to publish your research. 

Academic publishing is undergoing enormous change, requiring even experienced and established authors to review new publishers, journals and publishing models when choosing where to publish.

There is no one single indicator of quality. It is essential that you use multiple indicators in deciding on the quality of a journal and where to submit a manuscript.

Use the checklist on the right to help you decide on the quality of journals.

! Think ✓ Check > Submit video

Use the ! Think ✓ check > Submit Checklist

The questions below provide a framework to help determine the quality of journals.

Information on this page is adapted from

Do you or your colleagues know the journal?

  • Have you read any articles in the journal before?
  • Is it easy to discover the latest papers in the journal?
  • Does the journal have a distinctive name - be sure that the publisher is not trying to take advantage of a reputable journal with a similar name?
  • Do past issues of the journal contain quality articles? Would you be happy to have your article associated with them
  • Have you received direct marketing emails from the publisher with offers that are incongruent with your career stage, discipline, publication history, etc? Note that reputable journals don't need to spam authors to attract submissions. They tend to target the readership rather than authors.

Can you easily identify and contact the publisher?

  • Is the publisher name clearly displayed on the journal website?
  • Can you contact the publisher by telephone, email, and post?

Is the journal clear about the type of peer review it uses?

  • Does the journal have an independent and genuine peer review process?
  • Is the journal listed on Publons?
Are articles indexed in services that you use?

Do you recognise the editorial board?

  • Have you heard of the editorial board members?
  • Do the editorial board mention the journal on their own websites?
Is the publisher a member of a recognized industry initiative?
  • Another respected trade association

If the journal is open access:

  • Is it clear what fees will be charged? Does the journal site explain what these fees are for, and when they will be charged?
  • Is the journal listed in:
  • Is the publisher a member of:

More information:

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