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There are many methods to successfully evaluate the quality of a journal or publisher: pick one or two before making a decision to safely accept an invitation.
- Primary goal: to make money
- Reputation: questionable
- Emails: flattering, persuasive, and repetitive
- Databases: none of them included the title
- Author is targeted by website, not the reader
- Title: suggests a vague or broad scope
- Open Access, but publisher retains copyright
- Revision: not required, instant publication guaranteed
- Yes, it’s predatory!
From the World Association of Medical Editors
12 Questions to Assess a Journal/Publisher
YES/NO Checklist from Think.Check.Submit.
- 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?
- 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?
- Are articles indexed in services that you use?
- Is it clear what fees will be charged?
– Does the journal site explain what these fees are for and when they will be charged?
- 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?
- Adapted from Think.Check.Submit.
Got Invited to Submit your Paper?
You have received an email inviting you to
- publish your paper for a small fee OR
- serve on their editorial board OR
- edit a special issue OR
- present as keynote speaker at a conference
STEP 1 Be alert
- Is it a legitimate request? - We are all flattered to be listed among the top experts of our field.
- Do they want my work? My credentials? Name? Money? All of the above?
- Are there any typos? Grammatical errors? Awkward sentences?
STEP 2 Read between the lines
- Are they offering special treatment in one way or another? - Watch out for promises of rapid peer review or publication.
- Does it sound like "pyramid" publishing? Do they expect you to drag your colleagues into it, too?
- Does it sound too good to be true?
STEP 3 Check out the sender
- Is there full contact info: email, phone, address? Are they in the same physical location (state, continent)?
- Is there a street address? Look it up on Google Maps! Is it an empty lot in the middle of nowhere?
- Do they direct you to their website? Look it up! Watch out for poor design and missing content.
STEP 4 Consider it predatory until proven otherwise
- Consult Beall's List, even though it is not current, many publishers have been in the business for a while.
- Use Think. Check. Submit. to check for authority.
- Ask around. Ask your colleagues - predatory publishers tend to send the same email to authors (or anyone related to your research, e. g., listed on your lab's website) at the same time.
- Ask a librarian. If there is a subject specialist, ask that librarian, or just ask any librarian.