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Ekstrom Library

Publishing Academy: Week 2: Home

Why Do We Publish?

Evaluating a Journal

Never heard of a journal before and want to evaluate for possible submission? Be sure to find the answers to these questions to avoid problematic journals.

1. Where is the journal indexed? This is an indicator of quality. Google Scholar is not an high quality source of indexing, but Web of Science is for example.

2. Who is the publisher of the journal? What can you find out about this publisher?

3. Does the journal have an ideological bent? (An example of this would be the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons)

4. Read some articles! Are they high-quality? Who do they cite? Are there grammatical and spelling mistakes that should have not passed an editor?

5. What is the quality of the research? (Here is an example of a well-intentioned but not high-quality research article)

6. is the journal's range too broad? This could indicate that they do not have a solid focus and thus are willing to accept most anything. Here's an example: International Journal of Academic Studies


Investigating Metrics Matching Exercise

After you have completed the exercise in your group, answer the below questions together...

1. What are the strengths & weaknesses of your metric?

2. What is being measured?

3. How do you think your discipline would value this metric?

Predatory Publishing

  • Predatory publishing is when the publisher poses as a legitimate journal or book publisher but their is no rigorous peer or editorial review and the intent is simply to make money from article processing fees paid by the author of the article or manuscript.
  • It is sometimes difficult to tell predatory open-access publishers from honest, but low-quality open access publishers.
  • There is no official list of predatory publishers or journals, but some things to look for that might be problematic in a publisher's practices are
    • claiming to provide peer review or editorial oversight
    • very quick turnaround on submissions
    • claiming affiliation with non-existent organizations or deceptively claiming to have a high Journal Impact Factor
    • hiding article processing fees until after author has submitted manuscript
    • holding a manuscript "hostage", i.e. not letting the author withrdraw it
    • claiming to be included in prestigious indexes such as Web of Science
    • claiming reputable scholars are on their editorial board when said scholars have not agreed to be listed
  • A good scholarly article to read on predatory open access is "Predatory open access: a longitudinal study of article volumes and market characteristics"
  • Much of the above info is drawn from this brief but informative article called Cabell's New Predatory Journal Blacklist: A Review