The advance of internet and changing publishing models have given rise to online, open access journals. The increasing pressure to publish, coupled with the author-pays publishing model, led to a proliferation of predatory or pseudo-journals. However, such problems are not exclusive to open access publishing. Traditional subscription journals should also be carefully evaluated for quality.
There are a few ways authors and evaluate journals:
1) By scrutinizing the journal's homepage and information for authors. Generally, authors miss out on this crucial step to evaluate if a journal is ideal. Questions such as the aims and scope of the journal, journal's article type/methodology restrictions, word count limits or even charges and fees are all important considerations when evaluating journals. Refer to our page on Journal Selection for more information!
2) Some authors prefer the use of metrics and journal quality indicators to help them evaluate journals.
3) Make use of tools/checklists (see below) when evaluating journals.Think, Check, Submit provides a simple assessment framework to help scholars identify trustworthy journals. While it is commonly seen as a tool for evaluating potentially predatory journals, some of the questions in the checklist can also help you to identify/scrutinize between legitimate or top-tier journals as well.
Need help evaluating academic conferences? Check out the associated checklist from Think. Check. Attend
The checklist below can be used to evaluate if a journal is potentially predatory. The checklist is adapted from Think. Check. Submit, an initiative started by a group of scholarly communication professionals, organisations and publishers to help researchers identify trusted journals and discern deceptive and predatory publishing practices. The more questions and issues encountered when verifying a journal's characteristics with the checklist, the more you should be wary and avoid publishing in that journal.
Different authors may have different objectives, aims, tolerance or thresholds when using such checklists. As such, You should only submit your manuscript to a journal only if you can answer most or all of the questions satisfactorily based on your standards or requirements.
Think. Check. Submit Checklist
Do you or your colleagues know the journal?
Email or journal website
Peer review and editorial proceses
Metrics and indexing
Can the journal be found on lists?
Adapted from: Think. Check. Submit
As of January 2017, the original Beall's list of predatory journals and publishers is no longer updated. Details on its cessation can be read at Retraction Watch.
The updated "Beall's list" can be found at https://beallslist.net/. The criteria used to derive the "Beall's list" can be found here. Do note that an anonymous individual has taken on the responsibility of preserving Beall’s list and updating it when potentially new predatory journals and publishers are identified.
Predatory journals are continuously changing names and publishers. Hence, lists are not longer considered to be comprehensive and authoritative.
All authors are advised to conduct their own due diligence when evaluating journals.