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Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Medical Library
What Criteria Make a Good Journal?
- Be indexed in databases related to its field. (In this case, strive for journals indexed in MEDLINE or PubMed).
- Tends to have professional associations/organizations or government agencies as sponsors.
- Demonstrates integrity and objectivity.
- Provides evidence of a rigorous peer-review system.
- Clearly states any fees associated with publishing.
- Provides clear information on topics such as ethics, archiving, open access, retraction, and advertising policies.
- Provides full contact information and author instructions.
- Has a verified ISSN (International International Standard Serial Number).
Modified from: Bisaccio, M. Cabells’ Journal Whitelist and Blacklist: Intelligent data for informed journal evaluations. Learned Publishing. 19 April 2018; 31: 243-248. doi:10.1002/leap.1164.
Salient Features of Potential Predatory Journals:
- The scope of interest includes non-biomedical subjects alongside biomedical topics
- The website contains spelling and grammar errors
- Images are distorted/fuzzy, intended to look like something they are not, or which are unauthorized
- The homepage language targets authors
- The Index Copernicus Value [a bogus metric] is promoted on the website
- Description of the manuscript handling process is lacking
- Manuscripts are requested to be submitted via email
- Rapid publication is promised
- There is no retraction policy
- Information on whether and how journal content will be digitally preserved is absent
- The article processing/publication charge is very low (e.g., < $150 USD)
- Journals claiming to be open access either retain copyright of published research or fail to mention copyright
- The contact email address is non-professional and non-journal affiliated (e.g., @gmail.com or @yahoo.com)
Source: Shamseer, L., Moher, D., Maduekwe, O., Turner, L., Barbour, V., Burch, R., . . . Shea, B. J. (2017). Potential predatory and legitimate biomedical journals: can you tell the difference? A cross-sectional comparison
. BMC Medicine, 15(1), 28. doi:10.1186/s12916-017-0785-9
Checklists for Avoiding Predatory Journals
Think, Check, Submit
This quick, easy-to-use website helps researchers think about how to identify trusted journals to submit their research to. This tool was created by a collaboration organizations dedicated to academic publishing.
Journal Evaluation Tool (Loyola Marymount University)
Created by librarians at Loyola Marymount University, this rubric helps you determine the credibility of a journal. It is accessible via their their school's institutional repository. Download its PDF for step-by-step instructions for scoring the journal you wish to investigate.
Be iNFORMED (Duke University)
Created by the Duke University Medical Center Library & Archives, this checklist is designed to help researchers determine whether or not to publish in a journal. Criteria includes the number of articles already published by the journal, author fees, ownership rights, the review process, membership, and quality of editing.
NIH Publishing Advice
This 2017 notice outlines the NIH's recommendations for choosing credible journals when publishing NIH-funded research (NOT-OD-18-011)
Videos/Webinars about Avoiding Predatory Journals
Predatory Journal Solicitation Example
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