Where NOT to publish

Quest snip
Publishing the results of your research in the right journal is an important determinant of the breadth of attention your writing will achieve and the amount of weight your discussion and conclusions will carry in the mind of many of those who do find it. The last two decades have seen an explosion in the number of journals and, for researchers at the beginning of their careers, the landscape can be confusing and the consequences of choosing a less than reputable journal can be career-threatening.

We all know the ‘good’ and the ‘best’ journals in our disciplinary areas. These are the ones to aim for as often as possible and certainly when you’re trying to publish the major findings from a research project or a PhD. However, there are times when a paper just doesn’t fit one of these journals, or perhaps the findings don’t carry the weight or gravitas those journals would expect – but the findings are worthy of publication. Where should you publish? Or, to turn the question on its head, where shouldn’t you publish? Are there any guides to those journals?

You’ll be pleased to hear that there are and the main one that I use initially to check out a journal I’ve not come across before or against which I’ll check the worth of the many invitations to submit papers (usually with a request for payment) we have all started receiving by email is Bealls List. (UPDATE – 20.1.17. Beall’s List has been suspended. While it may come back online at some point, it seems to be in limbo for the present time. The sad news about the List can be found here, although the List has been archived here by the magical Wayback Machine!

Beall includes a list of ‘predatory publishers’ and ‘standalone journals’ that are to be avoided unless you have a very good reason for publishing with them and is an invaluable research and publication tool.

A second helpful list I came across the other day comes from Malaysia (from the Postgraduate Student Society at UTM) where the Ministry of Higher Education has listed four publishers that it does not recognise and also, helpfully, lists their journals. The publishers are:

* EuroJournals Inc.
* Common Ground Publishing
* Academic Journals
* African World Press

Even though some are indexed by Scopus, you would probably be best advised to avoid these as paper published in them will not carry the esteem that your papers deserve.

Remember that your published research writings constitute your intellectual capital and are what will drive your career during your lifetime. Make sure you publish in the best possible and most appropriate journals to ensure your intellectual capital carries you as far as it can. (Writers in the area of Business and Management may find the following post helpful in deciding where to publish.)

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5 Responses to Where NOT to publish

  1. Marion Nao says:

    Beall does not recommend that the publishers on the list be ‘avoided at all costs’, but that the authors decide for themselves whether these are suitable on the basis of several criteria for determining so-called predatory open-access publishers (and so-called in mitigated form: note the use of ‘potential, possible or probable’), as well as those which might be subpar in quality (so, not actually even predatory at all).

  2. Rajashekar Gummaraju says:

    ‘Predatory Journals’, I like the word! But is this not the offshoot of the policy demands?
    In India, we have the University Grants Commission (UGC) fixing the parameters for academic promotions in universities and colleges. Publication is a major requisite in these parameters. Lo & behold! There are more journals in our country now than ever before, journals being born every day! Predatory, of course! When policy requires you to publish, the same policy gives birth to many journals, some of which turn predatory.


    All of the above opinions are correct and therefore, should be taken into consideration. The individual researchers should decide on the issue. But your inputs are certainly helpful for them.
    I appreciate you all.

  4. Pingback: Where should I publish? Quality, journals and the list of lists in Business and Management | Doctoral education to go!!

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