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.