What is Open
is it? A guide for evaluating the openness of journals.
- From SPARC (the
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition).
- This guide provides a means to
identify the core components of OA and how they are implemented across the
spectrum between Open Access and Closed Access.
Predatory Open Access Publishing?
Predatory publishers share
- They engage in questionable
business practices, such as charging excessive author fees or failing to
disclose publication fees to potential authors.
- They fail to follow accepted
standards of scholarly publishing, particularly in regards to peer
- They exist to make money by
taking advantage of the "author-pays model" of open access journal publishing,*
and have no interest in promoting scholarship or advancing
bodies to publish articles open access is a model used by many reputable
journal publishers and is not the single factor used to determine if a journal
should be considered "predatory." For further information, please review
of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing by the Open
Access Scholarly Publishers Association.
interview with The Chronicle of Higher Education,
Prof. Jeffrey Beall describes the phenomenon this way:
"Predatory open-access publishers are those that unprofessionally
exploit the gold open-access model for their own profit. That is to say, they
operate as scholarly vanity presses and publish articles in exchange for the
author fee. They are characterized by various level of deception and lack of
transparency in their operations. For example, some publishers may misrepresent
their location, stating New York instead of Nigeria, or they may claim a
stringent peer-review where none really exists."
Predatory publishers may also
claim to be included in directories and indexes when they are not and include
faculty on their editorial boards who have not agreed to serve.
Predatory publishers began
profilerating in the past few years with the increase in open access
publishing, and we are now also seeing an increase in predatory conferences,
some which choose a name nearly identical to an established, well-respected
How Do I Avoid
Contact your department's
Library Liaison for a second
(or first) opinion about the authenticity of a publisher or journal. We're
happy to help faculty, students and staff identify reliable, quality scholarly
Think, Check, Submit!
- There are reputable journals
that are completely open or have open access options. But there are other
journals you should avoid. Choose carefully.
- Think before submitting your
manuscript to an unfamiliar journal - - publishing in a predatory journal may
damage your reputation and/or weaken your promotion and tenure
Use the following checklist,
provided by Declan Butler in Nature, as a guide for assessing publishers and
to perform due diligence before submitting to a journal or
- Check that the publisher
provides full, verifiable contact information, including address, on the
journal site. Be cautious of those that provide only web contact
- Check that a journal's
editorial board lists recognized experts with full affiliations. Contact some
of them and ask about their experience with the journal or
- Check that the journal
prominently displays its policy for author fees.
- Be wary of e-mail invitations
to submit to journals or to become editorial board members.
- Read some of the journal's
published articles and assess their quality. Contact past authors to ask about
- Check that a journal's
peer-review process is clearly described and try to confirm that a claimed
impact factor is correct.
- Find out whether the journal
is a member of an industry association that vets its members, such as the
Directory of Open Access Journals (www.doaj.org) or the Open Access Scholarly
Publishers Association (www.oaspa.org).
[Some questionable journals appear in directories such as DOAJ and Cabell's; we
don't advise using this as your sole criteria.]
- Use common sense, as you would
when shopping online: if something looks fishy, proceed with
A more extensive ruberic for
evaluating journals, the
Tool, is provided by the Library staff at Loyola Marymount University and
the Loyola Law School.
How Do I Choose
the Right Journal?
- With in-depth information on
over 7,000 verified medical journals and 16,000 predatory journals, this
curated database provides submission guidelines, detailed metrics, historical
trends, and more. It helps researchers, librarians, funders, and administrators
discover, verify, and evaluate quality medical journals.
- Users can assess verified
medical publications across 37 disciplines by browsing, searching, or filtering
for specific goals. Every publication included in Journalytics Medicine has
been hand-verified and evaluated using a comprehensive set of selection
criteria. Journal listings include bibliographic information, submission and
manuscript details, access model, fee, and reuse information, and
citation-backed metrics providing measures of discipline strength, influence,
- Each entry in Predatory
Reports displays information on how to identify the journal in the real world
as well as a comprehensive report detailing each violation that was uncovered
during the journals evaluation. Journals are examined by Cabells review
teams against more than 70 behaviors that contradict standard industry
practices and are indicative of deception. Predatory Reports provides complete
records of a publications behaviors broken down by level of severity in
categories such as integrity, peer review, publication and business practices,
fees, indexing, and more.
Not sure where to publish or what
journals are available in your field? Interested in publishing across multiple
disciplines? Check out Ulrichsweb, a global serials directory, which lists over
300,000 publications worldwide.
Ulrichsweb (Global Serials Directory)
- Ulrichsweb.com is an
authoritative knowledgebase of information about more than 300,000 serials of
all types from around the world -- academic and scholarly journals,
peer-reviewed titles, online publications, newspapers and other
If the icon is not
present, the journal is not peer-reviewed. "As used in the Ulrich's
knowledgebase, the term refereed is applied to a journal that has been
peer-reviewed. Refereed serials include articles that have been reviewed by
experts and respected researchers in specific fields of study including the
sciences, technology, the social sciences, and arts and humanities."
Periodical Directory) may be used to identify "scholarly" journals. The icon of
the referee's shirt indicates that the journal is peer-reviewed.
||If the title is
academic/scholarly, the Basic Description section will include a line that
says: "Content Type: Academic/Scholarly"
You can see if the
journal is indexed in MEDLINE, Web of Science, or other legitimate indexing and
abstracting services by looking in the Abstracting & Indexing
Click on "Search for Full Text" located to the far right of the
journal title to see if the libraries have a subscription to that journal.
Uae the "JCR Web" to check for an impact factor of the
Journal Citation Reports
can access Journal Citation Reports (JCR), a product of Thomson Reuters,via
Web of Science (look for the link
at the top of the
page). Published annually, JCR provides a number of journal impact measurements
for journals in the sciences and social sciences. Reported metrics include
Impact Factor, 5-year Impact Factor, Immediacy Index, and others. Since 2007,
JCR has also included Eigenfactor Metrics. Learn
Citation Reports Training Videos and Quick Reference Cards
and information sheets - both available in multiple languages. There is also a
link to live and recorded trainings.
- A free tool created by a group
of software developers, former researchers, and scholarly publishing veterans
at Research Square to help
researchers evaluate scholarly journals in which to publish with the goal to
bring all sources of data together in one place to give authors a simple way to
choose the best journal for their research.
- Search, filter, sort, and
compare journals from more than 46,000 titles.
- Search by journal name,
category, publisher, manuscript title or abstract.
Journal/Author Name Estimator (JANE)
- This service originates in the
Netherlands, is free, and is funded by the
Netherlands Bioinformatics Center
- It is limited to journals
included in Medline, a database published by the U.S. National Library of
- Authors enter the title
and/or abstract of their paper in a box, and click on 'Find journals', 'Find
authors' or 'Find Articles'. JANE will then compare the document to millions of
documents in Medline to find the best matching journals, authors or
- JANE uses the Article
Influence (AI) score that measures how often articles in the journal are cited
within the first five years after its publication. These citations are weighted
based the influence of the journals from which citations are received: being
cited in an article in Science can boost a journal's AI more than being cited
in an article in an obscure journal. For more detailed information, see the
Edanz Journal Selector
- Edanz Group, a Beijing-based company that
provides English language editing and support services for the worldwide
scientific community, has launched a free, online tool aimed at helping
scientists and academic researchers find the most appropriate outlets for their
- The selector tool works by
comparing the authors abstract, or short article description, with
keywords from abstracts from a database of more than 28,000 journal
- Results are ranked by
relevance, or an author can choose to filter and refine the results by
Reuters Impact Factor (JCR), by preference for Open Access, or by frequency