Invited to publish somewhere new? Be iNFORMED!

Rarely does a week pass that I don’t get invited to publish in an unknown journal or to present at a conference. I hear from many of you that you are getting the same invitations. While you may be tempted to hit the spam or delete key, some of these journals may be legitimate. How can you tell which are worth pursuing?

Hopefully by now, most authors and readers of academic journals are familiar with the open access model. This model aims to shift the cost of producing academic journals to the author, as opposed to the readers and institutions that subscribe to the journals. Many open access journals offer excellent content in an open and low-cost way, making the research available to more people than a traditional journal might.

However, the presence of this “pay to publish” model has opened the door to potentially predatory journals. Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado Denver, has created a list of potentially predatory journals and publishers. This is an excellent source to check.

You may not find the journal or publisher of interest on this list, or you may want to conduct some evaluation of the journal or publisher yourself. To facilitate this, the Medical Center Library & Archives has created a new checklist:


  • Number: How many articles has the journal published? How many citations are there to those articles?
  • Fee: Is the fee reasonable?
  • Ownership: Who owns and produces the journal?
  • Review: Is content peer reviewed before acceptance? How rigorous is the review process?
  • Membership: What associations or open access alliances does the journal or publisher have?
  • EDitorial: Who is on their editorial board and staff?

We encourage you to use this checklist to evaluate journals and other publishers. Please contact the Library with any questions or comments!