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Publishing Research - Research Guide

Evaluating Publishers and Publications

Importance of Evaluating Publishers and Publications

When choosing a publisher, determining their integrity and reputation is critical. It is important that you seek to publish with reputable, well-known publishers in your field of research.

Choosing a relevant, reputable publisher will help you:

  • Reduce the possibility of your manuscript being rejected
  • Reach the right audience i.e. other researchers in your field
  • Increase the likelihood of your research being read, cited and mentioned
  • Enhance your reputation as a researcher
  • Build an impressive publication history for future grants, promotion, or employment
  • Avoid unethical publishers and publications

Evaluation Checklist

  • Who are the readers?
  • Are they part of your research community?
  • Would they be interested in your publication?
  • Where, and in which format, do experts in your research area publish?
  • Are the publisher's name and contact details clearly displayed on their website?
  • Can you contact the publisher by telephone, email and post? Can you locate the publisher's offices using an online map application?
  • Is the publisher a member of a recognised industry association?
  • Is the publisher a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)?
  • Do you know anyone on the Editorial Board and what are their credentials?
  • Is copyright and licensing information clearly described on the publisher's website?
  • Does the publisher have clear policies on handling potential conflicts of interest?
  • Does the publisher permit the deposit of an "accepted manuscript" version in the Murdoch Research Portal, with no or short term embargo?
  • Does the publisher charge a fee for publication? If so, is it clear before submission what fee will be charged, what the fees are for and when they will be charged?
  • How long will it take between submission and publication?
  • Are direct marketing activities by the publisher, including solicitation of manuscripts, appropriate, well targeted, and unobtrusive?
  • Would the publication be counted towards a research publication for reporting purposes, or for research assessment?
  • Are the aims and scope of the journal relevant to your area of research?
  • Do you and your colleagues read and cite the journal that you intend to submit to?
  • Is the journal name unique and not easily confused with other, well-known journals?
  • Is there a clearly stated plan for archiving and preservation of the journal's content?
  • Is the journal open about its peer review process?
  • Is the journal indexed by reputable bibliographic databases and easily discoverable?
  • If the journal is Open Access, is it listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)?
  • If the journal is Open Access, does the publisher belong to the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA)?
  • Does the journal have a current top quartile rating in SCImago?
  • Does the publisher have a reputation for publishing high quality, academic works?
  • Do you, and your colleagues read and cite books published by this publisher?
  • What is the publisher's selection process?
  • Is there a peer-review process? Will your manuscript be sent out to reviewers?
  • Will your book be professionally edited? If so, what are the credentials of the editor?
  • Will you receive royalties and how?
  • Are subsequent editions of books regularly published by this publisher?
  • Are books published by this publisher regularly purchased by academic libraries worldwide?
  • Are books published by this publisher indexed by reputable bibliographic databases and easily discoverable?
  • Are books published by this publisher regularly reviewed?
  • Will the publication add value to your career?
  • Would publication of your research, and especially your thesis, as a book adversely affect future publication of this research in other formats?

Note: To be eligible for Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) inclusion, books must be published by a commercial publisher or peer reviewed.  A commercial publisher is one for which the core business is producing books and distributing them for sale. Print-on-demand, vanity press and companies that specialise primarily in the publication of theses are not considered commercial publishers.

  • Who are the conference organisers? Is it sponsored by a professional organisation or society?
  • Who is on the organising committee and what are their credentials?
  • Do you, and your colleagues read and cite papers presented at this conference?
  • Are the proceedings of the conference readily available and held by academic libraries worldwide?
  • Is the conference indexed by reputable bibliographic databases and easily discoverable?


Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing - by Claire Redhead, on behalf of the Committee on Publication Ethics, the Directory of Open Access Journals, the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, and the World Association of Medical Editors.

! THINK * CHECK > SUBMIT - a website to help researchers assess the credentials of a journal or publisher. and identify trusted journals for their research.

! THINK *CHECK > ATTEND - a website to help researchers assess conferences to attend and present their research.

Journal Evaluation Tool - created by Shilpa Rele, Marie Kennedy, and Nataly Blas, Loyola Marymount University. This evaluation tool includes steps for evaluating journals, a detailed rubric of criteria, and a scoring table to accompany the rubric.