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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.

Web Search for the Publisher

  • Icon representing a web searchIs the publisher within the top 5 entries on the first page of search results? Are there any scam alert postings?
  • Is the publisher a 501(c)(3) organization?
  • Does the publisher organize or exhibit at conferences?
  • Is the publisher a scholarly organization?
  • Is the publisher a member of any publishing organizations, such as:
    • COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics)
    • OASPA (Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association)?

Publisher Information

  • Icon representing publisher informationCan you easily identify information about the publisher?
    • Mission
    • Contact information (try calling the phone number)
    • Search the organization or company using one of the UMSL databases recommended in our Business guides (particularly the Company & Industry Information guide)
  • Does the publisher’s street address map to a residence, mailbox store, or strip mall?
  • Does the publisher have enough resources to provide long-term support for the journal?
    • Look for the publisher’s financial information.
  • Does the publisher provide information on how content will be preserved if the publication ceases?
    • Does the journal participate in LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) or CLOCKSS (Controlled LOCKSS)?
      • Check the lists of participating journals and publishers.