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Evaluating Journals Before You Publish

Learn how to spot potential predatory publishers and hijacked journals before you submit your articles for publication.


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Judy Schmitt
Office: TJ Library 319C

Why Evaluate Journals?

Detective searching for clues with a magnifying glassThe rise of open access journals and other changes in publishing models have reshaped how scholars use and share journal articles. Predatory and vanity publishing did not originate with the author-pays model of some open access publications, and predatory practices are not exclusive to open access publishers. Even traditional subscription journals should be carefully evaluated before an author submits an article for publication.

Evaluation of journals and publishers does require some investigative effort, so put on your detective cap! This guide presents some basic—and some not-so-basic—questions you should ask yourself before risking your reputation on a questionable journal. The next page of this guide provides a downloadable rubric and scoring sheet designed to aid in the evaluation process.

Spectrum of Predatory Behaviors

Image showing spectrum of predatory journal behaviors

Source: The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP). (2022). Combatting predatory academic journals and conferences (Summary report in English, p. 7).