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Where Should I Publish My Article?

Linda Neyer and Katie Yelinek, two Bloomsburg University faculty librarians, present ideas and strategies in a TALE Spring 2017 Seminar, on April 12th.

The issue

"Alongside many reputable journals, a number of pay-to-publish, vanity journals have appeared in recent years. Much like any other online scamming scheme, their primary goal is to dupe the unsuspecting author into paying fees to publish in their journal...  Some academic authors are being duped by submitting their research outputs to be published in these vanity journals. This can have a damaging effect on the reputation of the both the researcher and the institution." - Rosarie Coughlan

5 tips on avoiding predatory publications

Tip 1: Consider carefully any unsolicited invitation to submit to a publication

Have you received an unsolicited invitation to submit an article to a publication you don't know and have never heard of? Proceed with caution!

Tip 2: Scrutinize the ‘About the Journal’ section of the journal's website
  • Does the Board of Editors list members who are not recognized in their field or are affiliated with questionable institutions? There have been instances where Board member names have been assigned to a journal without their permission
  • Where is the address of their head office or registered office?
  • Is the target audience for the journal readily identifiable?
  • Are the publisher’s credentials apparent? For example, are they a member of, or listed on, these organizations' websites?
Tip 3: Scrutinize the ‘For Authors’ section of the journal's website
  • Is there minimal (or non-existent) peer-review processes?
  • Are the publication contracts clear and attractive? If a fee is charged, does the journal site explain what the fees are for and when they will be charged?
  • Does the journal have a very high manuscript acceptance rate or does it promise acceptance guarantees?
Tip 4: Look for quality and transparency
  • Review the published papers in the journal (both their content, rigorous research approach, communication/writing-style etc)
  • Don’t neglect the esthetics - is there evidence of good copyediting?
  • Are reader feedback mechanisms available? (For example, are comments enabled on the website?)
Tip 5: Is the publisher explicit about its dissemination strategy?
  • Is the publisher explicit about how it distributes and actively promotes the journal?
  • Is the journal indexed in reputable library databases? 

Helpful reading

What you can do

  • Be aware of the publication landscape in your research area and the most reputable journals
  • Research the publisher credentials (see Tip 2)
  • Consult the Directory of Open Access Journals for reputable journals
  • Resist too-good-to-be-true-offers.  Trust your instincts!  If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.


From How to Avoid Predatory or Bogus Publications, used with permission from Rosarie Coughlan, Joseph S. Stauffer Library, Queen's University, Ontario, Canada.

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