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Find Places to Publish: Evaluating Journals

Selecting a Journal

  • Readership: Does the journal have a wide coverage? Where is it indexed?
  • Scope: What is the scope? Who is the audience?
  • Peer review: Is it peer-reviewed or refereed? Journals that are peer-reviewed are more highly regarded than those that are not.
  • Publisher: Try university presses or professional associations (avoid predatory publishers).
  • Availability: Is it open access (would be more widely available to others), or subscription?
  • Check Table of Contents: Look at the types of articles published.
  • Website: Go to the journal's website to get more information; check the "Information for Authors" (or something similar).

Predatory Journals

Predatory journals are those that publish articles without much ethical oversight, as long as the publishers get paid to publish. They pay little attention to issues like plagiarism or the fabrication of data and have little or no scientific credibility or peer-review mechanism.

It is not always easy to identify predatory journals, but look for these things:

  • "Call for Papers" comes from a strange source.
  • The journal isn't listed in any known subject index.
  • The publisher's website doesn't list an address that could be tracked. (Some addresses have been known to map to a P.O. box, which might be a red flag.)
  • The publication promises rapid or accelerated publishing.
  • Individuals on the board of editors cannot be traced.

Unsolicited Requests for Manuscripts

  • Do you or your colleagues know the journal? Do you recognize the editorial board? 
  • Can you easily contact the publisher?
  • Is there false or misleading information on the journal's website?
  • Is the journal clear about their peer review process?
  • Is it clear what fees will be charged?