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How Do I Navigate the Publication World?

Publication Avoidances


Predatory publishing, sometimes known as predatory open access publishing, is a term used to describe publishers who charge authors to publish in their publicly available journals yet have questionable rigor in their peer review or other editorial practices.  Not all open access publishers are problematic.  Being vigilant in where to submit manuscripts and carefully reviewing editor or conference invitations is encouraged.


Think Check Submit.  This tool will help walk you through deciding if you should submit to a particular journal or consider other publishing venues.


Questions you can ask when receiving an email invitation to submit a manuscript, serve on an editorial board or participate in a conference:

  • READ the solicitation letter carefully
  • How does the publisher’s web site look?
  • Is the journal indexed in a standard database, e.g. Medline
  • Is the peer review process clearly explained?
  • Is the fee policy and process easily found and “reasonable”?
  • Do you recognize anyone on the editorial board?  Contact an individual listed to make sure they are indeed engaged.
  • Check with a colleague – Ask a librarian


Related resources:

Visit our copyright guide for information on avoiding copyright violations. Copyright guide

Plagiarism Resources at Penn State