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Predatory Publishing

A guide on predatory publishing, legitimate journal recommendations, and open access.

Open Access Journal Quality Indicators

Most open-access journals are reputable and of high quality, but predatory publishers often like to use the term "open access" when describing themselves, making it difficult for researchers to evaluate the journals they may want to publish in. Some indicators to look out for when evaluating OA journals include:

Positive Indicators

  • Scope of the journal is well-defined and clearly stated
  • Journal’s primary audience is researchers/practitioners
  • Editor, editorial board are recognized experts in the field
  • Journal is affiliated with or sponsored by an established scholarly society or academic institution
  • Articles are within the scope of the journal and meet the standards of the discipline
  • Any fees or charges for publishing in the journal are easily found on the journal website and clearly explained
  • Articles have DOIs (Digital Object Identifier, e.g., doi:10.1111/j.1742-9544.2011.00054.x)
  • Journal clearly indicates rights for use and re-use of content at article level (e.g., Creative Commons CC BY license)
  • Journal has an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number, e.g., 1234-5678)
  • Publisher is a member of Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association
  • Journal is registered in, Global Serials Directory
  • Journal is listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Journal is included in subject databases and/or indexes

Negative Indicators

  • Journal website is difficult to locate or identify
  • Publisher “About” information is absent on the journal’s website
  • Publisher direct marketing (i.e., spamming) or other advertising is obtrusive
  • Instructions to authors information is not available
  • Information on peer review and copyright is absent or unclear on the journal website
  • Journal scope statement is absent or extremely vague
  • No information is provided about the publisher, or the information provided does not clearly indicate a relationship to a mission to disseminate research content
  • Repeat lead authors in same issue
  • Publisher has a negative reputation (e.g., documented examples in Chronicle of Higher Education, listservs, etc.)

This information is adapted from the Grand Valley State Libraries Open Access Journal Quality Indicators, released under a CC-BY-NC license.


Library OA Discounts

The library has negotiated agreements with several publishers that enable ATSU researchers to publish open access at not cost to them.

  • Wiley Journals
    • Through our membership in SCELC, ATSU researchers can publish OA in Wiley journals for free, under a Creative Commons license.
  • Cambridge Journals
    • ATSU researchers can publish OA in Cambdrige hybrid journals for no fee.

For more information or assistance navigating the publication process, reach out to your liaison librarian.


Health Sciences Repositories

There are a wide variety of subject and institutional repositories that can be used to archive you work. Subject repositories accept work from authors from any institution, so long as the work is in-scope of the repository's disciplinary focus. Institutional repositories collect all the work published by authors from a specific academic institution. It is recommended that authors archive their work in both types of repositories when possible.

The ATSM Library is currently in the process of launching an institutional repository, keep an eye out for more information in  the near future.

Below is a list of health sciences subject repositories that may accept your work.

Reputable Open Access Journals