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Services for Authors at the Penn Libraries: Evaluating Publication Venues

Evaluating Journals

Once you've identified potential publication venues, it's time to do some exploration and evaluation work. Consider these for each:

Safeguard against low-quality and predatory publishers

Quality of publication venues varies greatly, even within a well-regarded publisher. It is always a good idea to perform a preliminary investigation into the legitimacy of any publication, but especially of those you are unfamiliar with. Begin by asking these questions/performing these searches, and consult this guide's section on Predatory Publishing for more information and helpful tools:

  • If the publication venue states that they are indexed, check to ensure that they actually are.
  • Do the people on their editorial board actually exist? Do they list their involvement with the publication on their CV? 
  • Is the location of the publisher an actual place (e.g., look on Google maps - is it someone's house? An empty lot? A parking garage?)? Can you call them? Does someone answer?
  • Search for one of their articles/books in your preferred search engine or database. Does it come up?
  • Do you have many unanswered questions about the legitimacy of this publication? Is anyone from their team available to answer them? 
  • Is the publication venue clear about the publishing process and fess associated with publishing with them? 
  • Citation chase an older book/article, if possible (e.g., go to Google Scholar, find the publication, and click "cited by #"). Who has cited it and in what context?
  • Search for news references to the publication (if this is part of your criteria) or other places where you want your work to show up.
  • Can you find the journal/book in the Penn Library catalog/Articles+?
  • What does the publication venue do to market your work?