Review carefully the official journal website and look for the following criteria, as starting points:
Determine if the journal has a peer review or referee process (e.g., double-blind review).
Find the journal's acceptance rate.
Find abstracting and indexing services that provide coverage for the journal (e.g., Academic Search Complete database).
No single criterion indicates whether or not a publication is reputable, but the balance of positive and negative indicators may inform the evaluation.
If further assistance is needed, please contact a librarian.
This checklist helps you choose a trusted journal and publisher.
Tools to Quickly Identify Potential Journals - Getting Started
Elsevier Journal FinderAllows you to enter your manuscript title and abstract to determine which Elsevier journal title would be a good match for publication. You can limit to certain research fields.
JANE: Journal Author/Name Estimator"Allows you to enter your manuscript title or abstract and see which journals might be a good match. You can also look up other authors who write on a specific topic. Searches articles and authors in MEDLINE."
JournalGuideAllows you to enter your manuscript title, abstract, or keywords to find journals that publish similar articles. You can also select Journal Name to find journals that have your entered terms in the journal title. Covers biomedical topics.
PubMed PubReMinerOnly works in PubMed, but can identify experts, research interests, and journals to publish in.
Make Your Work Open Access
Best practice: Before you submit, check that the journal supports Green OA (generally, self-archiving, where an author deposits his/her article into a research repository at no charge) or Gold OA (generally, the Open Access Publishing Model).
Use this list of members to check that a publisher, publication, or organization follows best practice. Members have been through a rigorous application review process and adhere to OASPA's Code of Conduct.
Search Sherpa Romeo, an online database of publishers' copyright policies to find out what the publisher typically allows authors to do with their works.
Where Not to Publish: Predatory (junk) Publishers
Predatory publishers are entities which produce open access journals that:
Prioritize self-interest at the expense of scholarship
Use false or misleading information
Deviate from best editorial and publication practices including rigorous peer review
Use aggressive and indiscriminate solicitation practices
Exhibit a spectrum of behaviors that range from genuinely fraudulent with varying degrees of unacceptable practices including well-intentioned but low-quality standards
Sources: Grudniewicz A, Moher D, Cobey KD, et al. Predatory journals: no definition, no defence. Nature. 2019; 576(7786):210-212. and The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP). Combatting predatory academic journals and conferences. 2022.