Skip to Main Content

Where (and Where Not) to Publish Your Work

Before submitting your manuscript, be sure to research your chosen journal/s and avoid those with predatory practices.

Find Out Which Journals/Publishers are Predatory and Disreputable

Predatory Journal Lists

Predatory publishers use questionable tactics to profit from scholarly research. They exploit faculty and students by soliciting articles (often through spam emails) and usually request payment for publishing in advance. And, of course, the quality of the journals is sub par. The following resources can help in identifying predatory journals. If your journal is not on the lists below, consult the Signs below or consult your library liaison.

Signs a journal or publisher might be "predatory" 

Other resources:

Cabells Criteria for Judging Journals

Cabells Predatory Report Violations


This policy establishes the criteria for identifying deceptive, fraudulent, and/or predatory journals for inclusion in Cabells Predatory Reports. Cabells Review Board uses the following criteria to evaluate all journals suspected of deceptive, fraudulent, and/or predatory practices.

The following criteria are considered when evaluating a suspected journal:

  • Integrity
    • The same article appears in more than one journal.
    • Hijacked journal (defined as a fraudulent website created to look like a legitimate academic journal for the purpose of offering academics the opportunity to rapidly publish their research for a fee).
    • Information received from the journal does not match the journal's website.
    • The journal or publisher claims to be a non-profit when it is actually a for-profit company.
    • The publisher hides or obscures relationships with for-profit partner companies.
    • The owner/Editor of the journal or publisher falsely claims academic positions or qualifications.
    • The journal is associated with a conference that has been identified as predatory.
    • The journal gives a fake ISSN.
    • Insufficient resources are spent on preventing and eliminating author misconduct (that may result in repeated cases of plagiarism, self-plagiarism, image manipulation, etc.).
    • The name of the journal references a country or demographic that does not relate to the content or origin of the journal.
    • The journal uses language that suggests that it is industry leading, but is in fact a new journal.
    • The title of the journal is copied or so similar to that of a legitimate journal that it could cause confusion between the two.
  • Peer Review
    • No editor or editorial board listed on the journal's website at all.
    • Editors do not actually exist or are deceased.
    • The journal includes scholars on an editorial board without their knowledge or permission.
    • The founder of the publishing company is the editor of all of the journals published by said company.
    • Evident data showing that the editor/review board members do not possess academic expertise to reasonably qualify them to be publication gatekeepers in the journal's field.
    • Have board members who are prominent researchers but exempt them from any contribution to the journal except the use of their names and/or photographs.
    • Gender bias in the editorial board.
    • Little geographical diversity of board members and claim to be international.
    • Inadequate peer review (i.e., a single reader reviews submissions; peer reviewers read papers outside their field of study; etc.).
    • The journal's website does not have a clearly stated peer review policy.
  • Website
    • The website does not identify a physical address for the publisher or gives a fake address.
    • The journal or publisher uses a virtual office or other proxy business as its physical address.
    • The website does not identify a physical editorial address for the journal.
    • Dead links.
    • Poor grammar and/or spelling.
    • No way to contact the journal/only has web-form.
  • Publication Practices
    • The journal publishes papers that are not academic at all, e.g. essays by laypeople or obvious pseudo-science.
    • No articles are published or the archives are missing issues and/or articles.
    • Falsely claims indexing in well-known databases (especially SCOPUS, DOAJ, JCR, and Cabell's).
    • Falsely claims universities or other organizations as partners or sponsors.
    • Machine-generated or other "sting" abstracts or papers are accepted.
    • No copyediting.
    • The publisher displays prominent statements that promise rapid publication and/or unusually quick peer review (less than 4 weeks).
    • Little geographical diversity of authors and the journal claims to be International.
    • Similarly titled articles published by same author in more than one journal.
    • The Editor publishes research in his own journal.
    • Authors are published several times in the same journal and/or issue.
    • The journal purposefully publishes controversial articles in the interest of boosting citation count.
    • The journal publishes papers presented at conferences without additional peer review.
    • The name of the publisher suggests that it is a society, academy, etc. when it is only a publisher and offers no real benefits to members.
    • The name of the publisher suggests that it is a society, academy, etc. when it is only a solitary proprietary operation and does not meet the definition of the term used or implied non-profit mission.
  • Indexing & Metrics
    • The journal uses misleading metrics (i.e., metrics with the words “impact factor” that are not the Thomson Reuters Impact Factor).
    • The publisher or its journals are not listed in standard periodical directories or are not widely catalogued in library databases.
  • Fees
    • The publisher or journal's website seems too focused on the payment of fees.
    • The journal offers options for researchers to prepay APCs for future articles.
    • The journal states there is an APC or other fee but does not give information on the amount.
    • The journal or publisher offers membership to receive discounts on APCs but does not give information on how to become a member and/or on the membership fees.
    • The author must pay APC or publication fee before submitting the article (specifically calls the fee a publication fee, not a submission fee).
    • The journal does not indicate that there are any fees associated with publication, review, submission, etc. but the author is charged a fee after submitting a manuscript.
  • Access & Copyright
    • States the journal is completely open access but not all articles are openly available.
    • No way to access articles (no information on open access or how to subscribe).
    • No policies for digital preservation.
    • The journal has a poorly written copyright policy and/or transfer form that does not actually transfer copyright.
    • The journal publishes not in accordance with their copyright or does not operate under a copyright license.
  • Business Practices
    • Emails from journals received by researchers who are clearly not in the field the journal covers.
    • Multiple emails received from a journal in a short amount of time.
    • Emails received from a journal do not include the option to unsubscribe to future emails.
    • The journal has been asked to quit sending emails and has not stopped.
    • No subscribers / nobody uses the journal.
    • The journal or publisher operates in a Western country chiefly for the purpose of functioning as a vanity press for scholars in a developing country.
    • The journal's website does not allow web crawlers.
    • The journal copyproofs and locks PDFs.


There are many checklists available to assist with determining the legitimacy of a journal. Here is one from Think! Check! Submit!

   Reference this list for your chosen journal to check if it is trusted.

Do you or your colleagues know the journal?

– Have you read any articles in the journal before?

– Is it easy to discover the latest papers in the journal?

Can you easily identify and contact the publisher?

– Is the publisher name clearly displayed on the journal website?

– Can you contact the publisher by telephone, email, and post?

Is the journal clear about the type of peer review it uses?

Are articles indexed in services that you use?

Is it clear what fees will be charged?

– Does the journal site explain what these fees are for and when they will be charged?

Do you recognise the editorial board?

– Have you heard of the editorial board members?

– Do the editorial board mention the journal on their own websites?

Is the publisher a member of a recognized industry initiative?

– Do they belong to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) ?

– If the journal is open access, is it listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) ?

– If the journal is open access, does the publisher belong to the Open Access Scholarly Publishers’ Association (OASPA) ?

– Is the journal hosted on one of INASP’s Journals Online platforms (for journals published in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Central America and Mongolia) or on African Journals Online (AJOL, for African journals)?

– Is the publisher a member of another trade association?

Principles of Transparency

Organizations have collaborated in an effort to identify principles of transparency and best practice to distinguish legitimate from non-legitimate journals and publishers:

  • Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
  • Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA)
  • World Association of Medical Editors

3rd version (January 2018) Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing

Trusted OA Publishers

These are just some of the many good Open Access Publishers

chat loading...