Skip to main content

Research Guides


Questionable OA Publishers, Predatory Publishing, Determining the Good from the Bad OA Journals

  • Evaluating Open Access Journals
    - List of evaluation criteria
  • Nature's Checklist 
    -  Check that the publisher provides full, verifiable contact information, including address, on the journal site. Be cautious of those that provide only web contact forms.
    -  Check that a journal's editorial board lists recognized experts with full affiliations. Contact some of them and ask about their experience with the journal or publisher.
    -  Check that the journal prominently displays its policy for author fees.
    -  Be wary of e-mail invitations to submit to journals or to become editorial board members.
    -  Read some of the journal's published articles and assess their quality. Contact past authors to ask about their experience.
    -  Check that a journal's peer-review process is clearly described and try to confirm that a claimed impact factor is correct.
    -  Find out whether the journal is a member of an industry association that vets its members, such as the Directory of Open Access Journals ( or the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (
    -  Use common sense, as you would when shopping online: if something looks fishy, proceed with caution.
  • Predatory Publishing.pptx  -  Characteristics of Predatory Publishers
    - Emails sent to prospective authors identified in an Internet search inviting them to submit a manuscript, or to join the journal’s board of editors
    - Authors not clearly informed about a publication fee when submitting a manuscript and being notified about a fee only after the manuscript is accepted
    - Articles published before payment terms were understood or completed
    - Article published with out complete author approval
    - An editorial process that created more problems than it solved, with errors introduced during proof-reading
    Well known experts listed on the journal’s website as members of the editorial board even though they did not agree to serve on the board, and/or fake academics included on the editorial board
    - Mimicking the name or website style of a more established journal
    - Misleading claims about the publishing operations, such as false publisher’s location
  • Open Access Journal Quality Indicators
     - Increased visibility, usage, and impact of your research
     - More efficient dissemination compared with traditional publishing models
     - Retention of some or all of your copyrights
     - Contribution to societal good by providing scholarly content to a global audience
     - Rigor of traditional peer-review before publication
     - Ongoing feedback through social media
  • Stratford, Michael.  'Predatory' Online Journals Lure Scholars Who Are Eager to Publish." The Chronicle of Higher Education. March 4, 2012
  • Tools to Verify Journal Status / Article Citations
    Ulrich’s Periodical Directory - whether a journal is scholarly, peer-reviewed, indexed by which databases, ISSN or other information.
    Full Text Sources Online - A directory of publications that are accessible online in full text, from 25 major aggregator products.
    Web of Science - Citation and other information
    Scopus - Citation and other information
    Google Scholar- Article citations
  • Tools to Verify OA Publishers' Membership   
    - Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association OASPA -
    - Directory of Open Access Journals (
  • Indexing Institutions / Browse by Indexing
    The websites of OA journals with higher standards may list which institutions they use to index their articles.
    Common ones include:
    Web of Science
    Compendex (EI)
    WILSON Database (Now transferred to EBSCO)
    XYZ University Libraries Catalog
    An established XYZ international index