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.
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 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:
Choose the right journal or publisher for your research.
Think. Check. Submit. helps researchers identify trusted journals and publishers for their research. Through a range of tools and practical resources, this international, cross-sector initiative aims to educate researchers, promote integrity, and build trust in credible research and publications.
Developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME).
Shamseer, L., Moher, D., Maduekwe, O., Turner, L., Barbour, V., & Burch, R. et al. (2017). Potential predatory and legitimate biomedical journals: can you tell the difference? A cross-sectional comparison. BMC Medicine, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-017-0785-9
Use the !Think ✓ Check > Submit Checklist
The questions below provide a framework to help determine the quality of journals.
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?
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