Scholarly communication is the process used by researchers to create, share, publish and disseminate research with the academic community. Determining and selecting the appropriate reputable publication source is an important component of the scholarly communication process. There are a number of identifying characteristics to determine the reputation and quality of a publication. While a librarian can provide assistance evaluating the reputation of a publisher/publication, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine the appropriate and reputable venue.
Indicators of reputable publications/publishers:
Think.Check.Submit https://thinkchecksubmit.org/ is an assessment tool to help researchers determine the credentials of a journal or a publisher. The resource was developed in response to concerns related to deceptive publishing and is the product of collaboration among organizations and associations devoted to scholarly communication: Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), and International Association of STM Publishers (STM).
While many academic publishers/publications are reputable, there have always been publishers who are less reputable and do not follow established scholarly publishing standards. The increase of Open Access publishing models has created challenges for differentiating between legitimate Open Access sources and disreputable publishers.
Predatory journals deliberately employ deceptive practices and exploit the Open Access publishing model by posing as reputable, quality academic publications. Predatory publishers do not follow rigorous editorial practices, charge authors high publication fees and often target less established researchers by actively and aggressively inviting submissions. In determining if a publication is suspect: consult with a librarian and colleagues, look for the impact factor, and thoroughly review the content of the publisher’s website. There are a number of characteristics indicative of predatory journals and it is important to exercise caution.
Indicators of disreputable, predatory publications/publishers:
Resources available to provide assistance with scholarly communication include: colleagues, librarians, and documents from reliable organizations, such as Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), publishing associations and Beall’s List:
Contact your subject librarian or the Executive Director, Library Services for assistance.
Nancy E. Black, Executive Director, Library Services