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Publishing Academic Research

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

Choosing a Journal Publisher

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.

The Journal Selection Matrix, a template, based on the ! Think ✓ Check > Submit checklist, has been designed to assist you with comparing the quality and suitability of journals selected for your next manuscript submission. Use the suggested criteria to develop your own scoring scheme based on your discipline and other relevant criteria.

Avoid Predatory Journals and Publishers

It is important that as researchers, you are aware of the increasing number of publishers that you should avoid - publishers known as "predatory publishers".

Some predatory publishers have taken the development of the open access author-pays academic publishing model, as an opportunity to make money. These predatory or deceptive publishers are known to:

  • make dubious claims about the quality or credentials of a journal, e.g. citing a pseudo ‘journal impact factor’ purchased from companies such as the Global Institute for Scientific Information (GISI) which could easily be mistaken for a Journal Impact Factor (JIF) published by in the Journal Citation Reports database
  • provide limited editorial support
  • fail to meet established standards with respect to peer review
  • charge a publication fee after the article has been for publication
  • falsely claim that the publication is listed or indexed by reputable services, e.g. DOAJ, Scopus, Web of Science
  • adopt a journal name that is easily mistaken for that of another established title
  • publish a journal that includes material from multiple disciplines not normally associated together, e.g. International Journal on Recent Trends in Life Science and Mathematics
  • solicit papers from potential authors directly via email. 

Although Beall's List of Predatory Journals and Publishers was discontinued in 2017,  it is being updated anonymously by the following sources with one retaining the original name:

! Think ✓ Check > Submit

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?
  • Does the journal show as being peer-reviewed in Ulrichsweb

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:


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