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Predatory Publishing: Evaluating Journals

How to Evaluate Journals and Publishers

How to Evaluate Journals and Publishers

Some common things to look out for:

  • Similar names to other major publishers, journals, or professional organizations
    • Note what might be appealing to someone depending on their academic level, geographic location, or their field's prestige -- is it "international" or "British"
  • Promise a quick and easy turnaround; be wary of a promise to publish within a month
    • Consider how long or complicated it can be to properly read proposals and review pieces through a multi-step peer review and editing process
  • Publishing house or organization's location is hidden or vaguely described
  • Email and website use clumsy language with grammatical errors
  • Email and website contain blurry and/or unprofessional images or branding identities
  • Publishing house or organization's contact information is hidden or connected to an unprofessional, un-customized email address (e.g. @gmail or @yahoo)
    • There are no representatives connected to a major academic institution, such as Editorial Boards or testimonials, to follow-up on
  • Faculty and advisors have never heard of the journal or the overarching organization 
  • Journal/publisher claims to be indexed in major scholarly databases, yet you can't find many (if any) from the years they claim to have been in business
  • Articles' Impact Factors do not match the "prestigious" or "well-used" claims (see video below for information on Impact Factors)

Additional Resources

Check out these resources for evaluating publishers and journals:

Think. Check. Submit.

How to Find an Impact Factor

Predatory Publishers

10 Point checklist to identify predatory publishers

Checklist infographic courtesy of Editage Insights