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Academic Publishing

a guide to publishing in academic journals

Finding and Evaluating Journals

How do you identify journals in which to publish your work?

There are several factors you will want to consider when deciding where to submit your article for publication.  

To start, you might look at the journals you read, that your colleagues read and publish in, and at who you cite in your work. Then, consider if any of those journals are potential places to publish. Ask yourself:

  • Does the subject matter covered in the journal match your scholarship?
  • Do the types of articles published and article length guidelines match with what you want to submit?
  • Who is the audience of the journal?

You will also want to assess the the impact and quality of any journal, including citation-based impact factors, altmetrics, and the impact of open access journals.

Think. Check. Submit.

How can you be sure the journal you are considering is the right journal for your research?

Think. Check. Submit.

Avoiding Predatory Publishers

How can you identify and avoid predatory publishers?

Predatory publishers or journals charge authors a fee for publication with no intention of providing the expected services – such as editorial or peer review – in return. These predatory journals exploit the academic need to “publish or perish.”  Also known as fake journals, questionable journals, illegitimate journals, deceptive journals, dark journals, or journals “operating in bad faith”, some may be intentionally predatory, with the goal of making money without delivering services, while others may simply be mismanaged or inexperienced. A journal lacking in strong editorial or technical standards may still be operating in good faith. A predatory publisher intends to deceive or harm. 

It is important to realize:

  1. Open access publishing is not predatory. Predatory publishers are exploiting the open access publishing model.

  2. There are different publication standards and practices across disciplines and around the world. 

  3. Claims that publisher is “predatory” may be grounded in bias or racism. For example, the country a publisher is in is not a good indicator of quality or ethical practices.

  4. Proxy measures of quality, such as Journal Impact Factor, are often selective in nature and biased toward established journals and publishers who benefit from brand-name recognition. Lacking these features doesn't indicate that a publisher or journal is predatory.

Adapted with permission from Understanding Predatory Publishers, by Iowa State University Library (CC BY); and Think. Check. Submit. (CC BY 4.0)

What is Journal Highjacking and How to Avoid It

According to Clarivate (2019), "Hijacked journals are duplicate or fake websites of legitimate ones utilizing the title, ISSN and other information of the reputable journal. They are often created by a malicious third party for the purpose of fraudulently offering academicians the opportunity to rapidly publish their research online for a fee." - Clarivate. (2019, January 14). Hijacked journals: What they are and how to avoid them.

Tips for identifying highjacked journals:

  • Research all journals/publishers and explore their websites. Look for accurate information about the publications, current updates, information about the journal board members and university affiliations, etc.
  • Review the fees and publication processes. Review their copyright policies and rights as an author. Many highjacked journals will not conduct peer review.
  • Open articles from the journal and review them for typos, references, etc. Highjacked articles may have articles that are not to the standard of the real journal.
  • Look at the journal list on the CityU library website and use the links provided there.

Still not sure? Ask a Librarian!

What to Expect

What can you expect during the publication process?

The books listed below further explore the ins-and-outs of the scholarly publication process. Topics include nuts and bolts; understanding the peer review process; collaboration and co-authorship;  persevering through challenges; Open Access and other publishing models; and special considerations for writers whose first language is not English, publishing in English-language journals.