The practices of scholars sharing research and using journal articles have changed significantly with the popularity and pervasiveness of the Internet and changes in publishing models (see our Open Access Publishing tab). These changes have been both good and bad. Therefore, publications, both open access and traditional, should be evaluated thoroughly for quality.
Resources are available for evaluating potential places of publication and publishers:
Other resources are also listed below.
Evaluate open access journals for similar factors much as you would traditional subscription-based publishing.
ThinkCheckSubmit.org has a great checklist for all journals.
Prior to submitting an article to a lesser-known journal, consider the following:
The journal's start date:
Quality of archived articles and credibility of their authors:
Quality of peer review process:
Where the journal is indexed:
Editorial board members and reviewers:
Publisher ethical practice:
The Federal Trade Commission recognizes that some unscrupulous publishers take advantage of academics' need to publish, and seek to profit from rather than promote legitimate advancements in research and academia.
Many academics have also heard of Beall's List, a list of likely predatory publishers originally maintained by librarian Jeffrey Beall. He no longer updates his list, but some anonymous academic has kept an archived copy of the list and attempts to add to it periodically. While no list is exhaustive, Beall's article about possible predatory publishing red flags may be helpful as well.