Quality Control

For publishing your research results, you have a multitude of publication possibilities. If you decide to publish your results in a scientific journal or a publishing house, a scientific quality control and appropriate supervision for the publication process is important. In the following, we give you some information on what to pay attention to during this process.

Predatory Publishers / Predatory Journals

The market for scientific publications is ever growing and, hence, becomes more and more unmanageable for individuals. Unfortunately, there are dubious publishing houses on the market especially in the field of journals. “Predatory Publishers” fake good scientific practice but do not have sufficient quality control, e.g. peer review.

In many cases, they advertise aggressively and demand publication fees from researchers without rendering a service. Typical for predatory publishers is a short period between handing in an article and publication. A publication in a predatory journal usually harms the reputation of a scientist even when the work itself is of high scientific quality.

Predatory journals often appear similar to their legit counterparts. In some cases, they achieve this by using false impact-factors, editors, and falsified information about the databases in which their journal is indexed. Therefore, it can, in some cases, be hard to identify if the journal is legit or not.

The cross-industry initiative Think. Check. Submit. has compiled a list with criteria that helps you with identifying a legit journal. The FAQ-section of the Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft zum Thema “predatory” publishing” helps you to get an understanding of the phenomenon of “predatory publishers”, its scale and the media debate around it. Additionally, the handout from the ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft focuses in detail on the practices of dubious publishers.

Reputable Open-Access-Journals

Many scientific actors support the goal of open access to scientific research results. Consequently, in recent years, many new open-access journals have been established in their respective communities, gained good reputations, and have significant impact factors. The following indicators are a good sign that the journal is a reputable open-access journal:

Further helpful criteria are:

  • Have you or your colleagues heard of the journal? Have you read any articles in this journal in the past?
  • Is the publishers name clearly stated on the journal’s website? Is it easily possible to contact the publisher (phone number, email, mail address)?
  • Does the journal have an editorial board? Do you know members of the editorial board or have you heard of them as experts in their field of research? Do the members of the editorial board reference this work on their own website?
  • Does the journal provide any details on the peer-review process?
  • Is the ISSN correct? Existing ISSN can be found in the International Standard Serial Number International Center?
  • Does the publisher provide information on the cost for different services and when such are invoiced?

    Publication Fees

    Similar to some reputable open-access journals, predatory journals demand publication fees (APCs, Article Processing Charges) from authors. In contrast to reputable open-access journals, these fees arise often already with handing in the article and not after the article is accepted by peer review.

    Publication fees that arise from publishing in reputable journals can under specific conditions be covered by the University Library.


    Further Questions?

    If you are in search of an apt publisher for your research results, are in doubt if a journal is reputable or have any further questions concerning open-access publishing, we would be glad to help you. Please, arrange an appointment with us.