Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
rutgers library logo dark
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.
rimary goal: to make money P
eputation: questionable R
mails: flattering, persuasive, and repetitive E
atabases: none of them included the title D
uthor is targeted by website, not the reader A
itle: suggests a vague or broad scope T
pen Access, but publisher retains copyright O
evision: not required, instant publication guaranteed R
es, it’s predatory! Y
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
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.
If there is a subject specialist, ask that librarian, or just ask any librarian. Ask a librarian.