Choose the right journal or publisher for your research

Are you submitting your research to a trusted publisher?

Is it the right publisher for your work?

  • More research is being published worldwide.
  • New publishers are launched each week.
  • Stories of publisher malpractice and deception are also on the rise.
  • It can be challenging to find up-to-date guidance when choosing where to publish.

How can you be sure the publisher you are considering is the right one for your research?

Reference this list for your chosen publisher to check if it is trusted.

  • Do you or your colleagues know the publisher?
    – Have you read any books or chapters from this publisher before?
    – Is it easy to discover the latest books distributed by this publisher?
    – Is it clear how they distribute the books?
    – Can you tell what formats the books are available in and what price levels? (e.g. ebook for purchase or open access, print in hard or soft cover)
    – Do you recognise the editors?
  • Can you easily identify and contact the publisher?
    – Is the publisher name clearly displayed in the front matter of the book and on the website?
    – Can you contact the publisher by telephone, email, and post?
  • Is the publisher clear on their website about the type of peer review used and if it involves independent/external reviewers?
    – Is the publisher offering a review by an expert editorial board or by researchers in your subject area ?
  • Are the books indexed in services that you use?
    – Is your book or chapter indexed or archived in an easily discoverable database?
  • Does the publisher ensure long term archiving and preservation of digital publications, such as via OAPEN or CLOCKSS?
    – Does the publisher use permanent digital identifiers for books and/or chapters?
  • Does the publisher explain on their website how they are financially supported?
    – Is it obvious whether or not fees will be charged to authors?
    – If there are charges, does the publisher website give an indication of the amount, currency, explain what these fees are for, and when they will be charged?
    – Does the publisher website explain whether or not waivers are available?
  • Are guidelines provided for authors on the publisher website?
    – For open access books, does the publisher have a clear license policy, including any preferred licenses and whether exceptions are permitted depending on the needs of the author?  Are license details also included on their publications? Will your book be available as open access immediately when published?
    – Does the publisher allow you to retain copyright of your work? Does the publisher allow you to share an electronic version of your book or chapter via, for example, an institutional repository, and under what terms?
    – Is the publisher clear about contracts and royalty agreements, where applicable?
    – Does the publisher have a clear policy regarding potential conflicts of interest for authors, editors and reviewers?
    – Is the publisher clear about services offered to authors, such as copyediting and marketing and supporting rights management?
    – Is the publisher clear about how they will provide you with information about the reach and usage of your book?

Other things you may wish to check

  • Is the publisher a member of a recognized industry initiative?
    – Do they adhere to guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)?
    – If the book will be distributed with open access, is it listed in the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)?
    – If the publisher offers an open access option, does the publisher belong to the Open Access Scholarly Publishers’ Association (OASPA)?
    – Is the publisher a member of another trade association?

If you can answer ‘yes’ to most or all of the questions on the list.

Complete the checklist and submit your manuscript only if you are happy you can answer ‘yes’ to most or all of the questions.

Only then should you submit your manuscript.