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ERAU Hunt Library

Publishing Checklist - Assessing Journal Legitimacy: Home

If you are looking to publish a scholarly article, the following checklist can help you in assessing the legitimacy of a journal.  Though not a comprehensive checklist this tool provides items to consider that will hopefully guide you as you look to publish.

Items to Consider

Resources to Check In

  Red Flags

Does the journal provide a legitimate ISSN?

Fake ISSN or the ISSN belongs to a completely different journal

Does the journal provide a legitimate impact factor? The impact factor is from neither JCR or CiteScore
Does the publisher practice an ethical code of conduct or is a member of an industry association, especially if open access? No statement of any kind regarding publishing ethics or ethical code of conduct
Is the journal indexed in one or more major databases? Claims indexing but cannot be verified
What is the average timeline for publication?
  • Cabells (if available)
  • Publisher website (must be clearly stated)
Should never be less than a month
Is the editorial board, or editors, listed with their full names and institutional affiliation?
  • Publisher website (must be clearly stated)
There is no editorial board or editors listed
Are the editors known in their fields?

The editor is listed on multiple journals in different fields or the editors' CV does not list affiliation with that journal

Does the content on the publishers website seem original and not plagiarized? The text is copied verbatim from another publisher's website
Is it clear what fees will be charged?
  • Cabells (if available)
  • Publisher website (must be clearly stated)
Publisher requires payment prior to acceptance
Does the journal clearly describe its copyright and licensing information?
  • Publisher website (must be clearly stated)
Copyright and licensing information is not found on the journal's website or on any published articles


Think. Check. Submit.
Helps researchers identify trusted journals for their research. Through a range of tools and practical resources, this international, cross-sector initiative aims to educate researchers, promote integrity, and build trust in credible research and publications.

Open Access Journal Quality Indicators
From Grand Valley State University, these guidelines can help one evaluate open access publications as one considers appropriate publication venues, or invitations to serve as reviewers or editors.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
A community-curated list of open access journals and a good starting point for identifying quality, peer reviewed open access material.