The UW Libraries' Nuts & Bolts of Scholarly Publishing provides everything you need to get started selecting journals for publication and reviewing author's agreements. It is intended for anyone in the university community who is interested in learning more about scholarly publishing, with information, guidance, and links to resources on:
Use databases and resources that provide information about journals to identify some titles that match your topic.
Use databases that provide some evaluative component about individual journals.
Use databases to find where others publish articles similar to yours.
Use databases such as PubMed to see where articles matching your topic tend to be published.
Avoid disreputable and identify reputable journals
Use free databases to find information about a journal's position on open access.
Use online lists of journals categorized by the way they address NIH Public Access Policy requirements.
“Leading scholars and publishers from ten countries have agreed a deﬁnition of predatory publishing that can protect scholarship. It took 12 hours of discussion, 18 questions and 3 rounds to reach [this definition:]
"Predatory journals and publishers are entities that prioritize self-interest at the expense of scholarship and are characterized by false or misleading information, deviation from best editorial and publication practices, a lack of transparency, and/or the use of aggressive and indiscriminate solicitation practices." (Grudniewicz et al, 2019, p. 211)
"Whitelist" and "Blacklist" reinforce racial stereotypes and white supremacist thinking.
"It is notable that the first recorded use of the term occurs at the time of mass enslavement and forced deportation of Africans to work in European-held colonies in the Americas" (Houghton & Houghton, 2018).
Preferred terms: "Legitimate" and "Predatory"
Knowing which journals use predatory publishing practices is less important than finding a journal that fits your article's focus and meets your standards for impact and quality. Focus on the Nuts & Bolts of Scholarly Publishing and Identifying Reputable Journals Guide before jumping to these techniques for determining if a journal uses predatory practices; your evaluation of the right journal for you should filter out most, if not all, predatory journals from your list of the top 3-5 journals in which you'd like to publish.
Can I just use a list of “good/bad” journals, like Beall’s List?
Generally, no. Considerations:
Important notes shown in the image above:
These can be flawed.
Journal indexes from trusted sources:
The following is a list of red flags that a journal may use predatory practices.
The following is a list of items that could be red flags that a journal may use predatory practices.
Is the journal indexed in a trusted source like DOAJ, PubMed, Web of Science, or Scopus?
Is there a cheat sheet?
Yes, over 90 (Cukier, 2019). Here are some options, each is flawed:
The Predatory Publishing content of this page was adapted from Caitlin Maloy's presentation (2023).
Cukier, S., Helal, L., Rice, D. B., et al. (2019). Checklists to Detect Potential Predatory Biomedical Journals: A Systematic Review. MedRxiv, 19005728. https://doi.org/10.1101/19005728
Grudniewicz, A., Moher, D., Cobey, K. D., et al. (2019). Predatory journals: No definition, no defence. Nature, 576(7786), 210–212. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-019-03759-y
Houghton, F., & Houghton, S. (2018). "Blacklists" and "whitelists": A salutary warning concerning the prevalence of racist language in discussions of predatory publishing. Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA, 106(4), 527–530. https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2018.490
Maloy, C. (2023, April 4). Predatory Publishing [Google Slides]. University of Washington Libraries. https://drive.google.com/
For help with NIH guidelines, copyright and more, check out the resources listed below.
Consult relevant literature on how to plan effectively.
Here are some useful examples:
The discounts below are particularly relevant to the health sciences, but the UW supports open access publishing with more publishers than the ones listed here! Learn more about the UW Libraries' support for and investment in open access publishing.