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Open Access: Finding reputable publishers

Information on Open Access resources and publishing

Helpful resources

Predatory Publishing

Predatory publishers mislead researchers and exploit academic authors by charging publishing fees without providing expert peer review or rigorous editorial services. There is no concern for publication quality and no guarantee that the publisher will preserve the work by providing long-term hosting services.

As a result, the academic community doesn’t accept the work as valid or rigorous.

Consider these questions to help determine a journal's legitimacy. One or two negatives may not be cause for concern, but the overall assessment should be positive. 

Associations that monitor publishing standards

Is the journal listed in the DOAJ?

Is the publisher a member of COPE?

Is the publisher a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA)?

Check the publisher’s web site

Is the web site free of grammar and typing errors?

Does the web site provide clear guidelines for author fees?

Is the peer review process clearly explained?

Does the site explain archiving procedures to preserve access if the journal is no longer published?


Check the journal

Is the title unique so that it cannot be easily confused with another legitimate journal? Is there an ISSN?

Evaluate the quality of articles from past issues: editing and picture/graph quality, subject consistency, etc.

Is the journal indexed in the discipline’s noted databases (example: CINAHL, PsycINFO, ATLA, etc.)?

Can you find complete information about the editorial board? Have you heard of any of these people as experts in the field?



Your colleagues may have heard about this journal

The library staff is always willing to help



Evaluating Journals

Tools to help authors evaluate a journal's legitimacy


Librarian Jeffrey Beall coined the term "predatory publishers" and started a list of suspicious journals. He discontinued that list, but other groups have continued the practice. Authors should examine journals on these lists carefully for reliable quality in editing, reviewing, and financial practices.