Buyer beware: A checklist to identify reputable Open Access publishers

Posted on March 29, 2013 by

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Excerpt from Butler, Declan; Investigating journals: The dark side of publishing. Nature 495, 433–435 (28 March 2013) doi:10.1038/495433a

Only one article from the excellent Nature special edition ‘The future of science publishing’

Buyer beware: A checklist to identify reputable publishers

How to perform due diligence before submitting to a journal or publisher.

  • 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 (www.doaj.org) or the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (www.oaspa.org).
  • Use common sense, as you would when shopping online: if something looks fishy, proceed with caution.
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