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Publishing Your Article

Suggestions for the Health Sciences

What to do if a journal contacts you?

While it is easy to feel flattered when you are contacted by a journal or society or book publisher asking for a paper or chapter or book, be sure to really evaluate the request.

For example:

Not only are the sentences poorly constructed and overly flattering, but the subject area is not related to my research. 

But some could be legitimate, although probably a lot of work.

In this case the publisher and journal fit with the trusted criteria, but you need to consider the time it takes to solicit enough papers and edit them.

Is the journal predatory?

"Predatory journals and publishers are entities that prioritize self-interest at the expense of scholarship and are characterized by false or misleading information, deviation from best editorial and publication practices, a lack of transparency, and/or the use of aggressive and indiscriminate solicitation practices."

Grudniewicz, Agnes, et. al. (2019). Predatory journals: No definition, no defence. Nature (London), 576(7786), 210–212.

Signs that a journal might be predatory include:

Visit the website for the journal and consider the questions in the Is this Trusted page. Some red flags include:

  • You don't recognize previously published authors or members of the editorial board
  • The journal isn't affiliated with a University or scholarly organization you are familiar with
  • You can't easily identify if they have author processing fees and/or how much they cost.
  • The journal doesn't appear professional - look for an impact factor, an ISSN, DOIs for individual articles, and easy to find contact information
  • There isn't clear information about a peer-review process, or the journal promises extremely fast turn-around times to publishing that don't allow enough time for review