Have you ever received an e-mail inviting you to submit an article to a journal you don’t recognize? Or perhaps you have received an invitation to be the editor of an unfamiliar journal. Do you delete these e-mails or does the e-mail invitation spark your interest?
Some things to consider when approached by a journal:
- For the most part, established journals do not solicit for editors or submissions from e-mail addresses such as Gmail or Yahoo.
- Do you recognize the editors or editorial board members as highly regarded in the subject area? In reputable journals, editors and editorial board members will be listed with their affiliations and credentials.
- Are there publication fees, and if so, is the fee structure clearly spelled out?
- If the journal states an impact factor, is it correct?
- Is the journal indexed in a database so that your article can be found? The journal may state it is indexed in MEDLINE or Scopus. You might want to check if that is truly the case.
- Are articles published quickly? If so, this suggests little or no peer review.
- Are the articles in the journal of good quality? Are the research methods sound? Are authors listed with their contact information?
- The author instructions should clearly state ethical requirements, criteria for review by an institutional review board, and informed consent if it is a clinical article. Animal research should require an institutional review by an IACUC committee.
Poor publishing practices and non-reputable journals are nothing new. When in doubt, look closely at the journal. More detailed information about best practices can be found in the HSLS Scholarly Communications/Publishing Guide.
If you are unsure about a journal, you can contact us at Ask-a-Librarian for advice.