"The creation, dissemination, and
application of new knowledge are fundamental to the development of an informed
citizenry and a healthy global economy. Institutions of higher education
exist to fulfill these functions. From the lab to the classroom to industry to
the public, the advancement of knowledge through research and teaching is an
invaluable contribution made by higher education to the public good. Scholarly
publishing is the process through which newly discovered knowledge is refined,
certified, distributed to, and preserved for researchers, professors, students,
and the public." (ARL - Association of Research Libraries).
Where Should I Publish?
publishing models such as Open Access (non-subscription-based journals which usually
charge fees to authors/institutions to publish their material) have changed the
landscape of scholarly publishing making it difficult to identify reputable
publishers. Here are a ways to evaluate
publishers and journals when deciding where to publish your research.
Who is the Publisher?
Do they have an OASPA Membership?
OASPA is committed to
setting standards and promoting open access publishing. These Open Access
publishers share information and are more likely to have higher standards than
non-members. See their code of conduct
they have a recent date of establishment or an unusually high number of
Keep in mind that a newer
publishers might not be a member of OASPA as of yet. However a publisher that
has a high number of journals (50+) and is recently established may be more
questionable in terms of their ability to do high quality peer evaluation of
they been identified as a “Predatory Publisher”?
Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the
University of Colorado Denver, has created a website that lists problematic scholarly
open access publishers. He gives a fully outlined criteria for inclusion of
publishers on this list, however his criteria has at times been challenged.
Please note that this is not considered an entirely authoritative list as Beall
has published articles that make it clear he is critical of the Open Access
publishing movement in general. You should use several tools to evaluate for
is their profit model?
A non-profit organization may
have more altruistic motives for launching an open access publication than a
they solicit your article or chapter?
Sometimes publishers will send
out notices to students or academics offering to publish their work for a fee.
While this practice is sometimes used by reputable Open Access and traditional
publishers, direct e-mail solicitations are a possible sign that one should
spend some time researching the publisher before responding.
What about the journal?
they members of DOAJ?
is an Open Access Directory
that reviews the quality of the journals it accepts and adds to its listings.
Journals accepted into DOAJ tend to be more reputable.
are the Journal metrics?
Check an authoritative source to
see if the journal has an impact factor. How high is the impact factor? For
some newer open access journals, impact factor may not be available. There are
metric tools available to help with this:
Impact Factor - in Web of Science InCites:
- Journal Citation Reports (Journal Titles Ranked By Impact Factor)
- Essential Science Indicators (Top Research Papers By Field)
Peer Review standards do they use?
Check if the peer review
guidelines are openly posted by the journal or contact the journal to ask for
details about their peer review process. For example, does the journal use
blind peer review? In this model the reviewers’ and author’s names are not
disclosed to each other. Or do they use open peer review in which identity of
the author and the reviewer are disclosed to each other? Take into
consideration that blind peer review and open peer review are both considered a
credible standard for scientific publishing.
on the Editorial Board?
Identify who is on the editorial
board and check how qualified they are to review your work. You might want to
read profiles or look up board members on the Internet to review their
credentials. In the case of a newer journal, you might consider contacting one
of the members of the editorial board to ask questions about the peer review
is their acceptance procedure? How long did it take for the journal to accept your paper for
publication? Did they immediately accept it before a review process? How long
is the time between acceptance of the paper and publication? Too quick
acceptance of a paper and a timeline that would not allow enough time for
quality peer review may be cause for more investigation.
Is the journal indexed in major
databases or index services? Check PubMed, Web of Science, PsycInfo or the (Chemical Abstracts Service).
is the journal’s publication history?
Does the journal have a regular
publication schedule? Look for how many issues are published per year, and for how
are authors that have previously published in the journal?
Check who the authors are that
are submitting to the publication. Are they all from the same institution? Are
there repeated authors or groups across a few issues, or one dominant author?
is the quality of the articles in the journal?
Read a few articles. Are they
well-written, and/or provide data and a sound scientific method?
university was the research affiliated with?
Check that the author is
affiliated with an institution or university that is reputable. Does the
institution have a program or expertise in the field that is being written
are the citation counts on some individual papers?
Check the citation counts of
several articles in the journal. Are these articles being cited by others in
that field? A low or non-existent citation count for an article that has been
published for a while may mean that an article has not made a significant
enough contribution to scholarship in the area. There are different places
where you can check the citation counts for articles. Web of Science databases, Science Citation
Index and Social Science Index, offer citations counts for articles. Google
Scholar offers citation counts at
the article level, as well.
If you need any assistance or have any questions, please call the
Library at 713-7100.