Vetting Open Access Journals

Before deciding to publish in a new OA journal, consider the following:

  • Whether the journal listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals. Journals indexed in DOAJ after March 2014 (noted with a green check mark or "DOAJ Seal"), underwent a more stringent review process than journals indexed prior to that date.
  • Examine the journal's website for such information as affiliation with a university or professional organization, editorial board credentials, or acceptance rates. If you have doubts, contact members of the editorial board or article authors. Often predatory journals will create fake scholars or they will list scholars without their permission. Check the online profiles of named individuals through their listed institution page, LinkedIn or Research Gate. If there is no mention of the journal, then proceed with caution
  • Publishing fees and copyright ownership should be clearly indicated. For more information about your rights as an author
  • Whether the publisher is a member of a reputable industry organization such as Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association or the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). If they advertise membership to the Directory of Open Access Journal (DOAJ), Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) or International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM), check their membership on the relevant website. These associations are all reputable organizations that vet their members for adherence to publishing standards. If in doubt, send an email to the organization, and they should be able to confirm or deny membership.

ThinkCheckSubmit, produced with the support of a coalition from across scholarly communications in response to discussions about deceptive publishing, walks you through the process of evaluating journals