Journal relevance


  • The relevance of the scope and audience of the journal
  • Is your article adding to a conversation occurring in the journal? Are you citing articles from that journal?
  • Using a Library database to identify journals that frequently publish articles on your topic, or in your discipline
  • The CSU Research Outputs Collection (ROC) criteria for journals
  • Using WoS or Scopus to find journals with highly cited articles on your topic
  • The peer review status of the journal.


Is the journal:

  • Indexed in Scopus, Web of Science, CABI, ABI/Inform or another reputable database?
  • Available in full text online and can the full text content be accessed by the intended audience?
  • Open Access? - see the Open Access guide

Peer Reviewed Journals

Peer reviewed / refereed journals.

Some research disciplines can be disadvantaged by reliance on metrics alone. When considering appropriate journals in which to publish your research include:

  • Peer Review or Refereed journals, and the prestige of the editorial team, contributors
  • The relevance of the journal to the discipline. Will the article reach the desired audience?
  • Journal quality or impact, often determined through use of metrics.

Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory can be used to find peer reviewed journals in your discipline. It is particularly useful if your research is cross disciplinary and you are not familiar with potential journals in related areas.

Predatory or deceptive publishers

Many journal publishers, subscription based and open access, impose article processing charges (APC). This author-pays model may be used to fund peer reviewed open access journals, or be presented as an option to authors who wish to make their article open access in an established subscription based journal. The latter option has become more common, since some funding bodies, such as the ARC and NHMRC have adopted policies requiring research outputs to be freely accessible / open access, and may not even be necessary given that these policies only require that publications are ‘deposited into an open access institutional repository [see What is Open Access?] and/or made available in another open access format within a twelve month period from the date of publication’.

Some ‘predatory or deceptive publishers’ have taken the development of the open access author-pays academic publishing model, as an opportunity to make money. These predatory or deceptive publishers are known to:

  • make dubious claims about the quality or credentials of a journal, e.g. citing a pseudo ‘journal impact factor’ purchased from companies such as the Global Institute for Scientific Information (GISI) which could easily be mistaken for a ‘journal impact factor (JIF)’ published by Thomson Reuters (previously ISI) in the Journal Citation Reports database
  • provide limited editorial support
  • fail to meet established standards with respect to peer review
  • charge non-advertised publication fees after accepting an article for publication
  • falsely claim that the publication is listed or indexed by reputable services, e.g. DOAJ, Scopus, Web of Science
  • adopt a journal name that is easily mistaken for that of another established title, or incorrectly identified with an established institution or professional association
  • publish a journal that includes material from multiple disciplines not normally associated together, e.g. International Journal on Recent Trends in Life Science and Mathematics
  • solicit papers from potential authors directly via email. Some legitimate academic publishers might contact authors directly about a relevant special issue of a journal, or announce a new journal, but it is not standard practice

Authors also need to be wary of counterfeit websites that impersonate the website of a legitimate scholarly journal, with the aim of soliciting manuscript submissions and publication charges. The legitimate versions of the journals may either only be published in print and not have an online portal, or be published online from a different domain (web address).

A news feature published in the journal Nature - Investigating journals: The dark side of publishing - provides a ‘checklist to identify reputable publishers’ (Butler, 2013, p.435).

Butler, D. (2013). Investigating journals: The dark side of publishing. Nature, 495(7442), 433-435. Retrieved from:

Useful tools:

These tools aren’t perfect. For example, Ulrichsweb includes some journals that publish peer reviewed + non-peer reviewed content; the DOAJ might not include all quality open access journals, and recently de-listed 900+ journals that did not meet its published Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing

The Library's Faculty Liaison staff can often provide advice about publishers to avoid, and assist authors identify alternative journals.

Publishing your thesis

Higher degree research (HDR) students or recent graduates, may receive unsolicited emails from companies offering to publish their thesis. Some of these ‘publishers’ or ‘vanity presses’, provide limited or no editorial input, eg. they don’t provide peer-review, editorial or proof-reading support, marketing or distribution of the book. They generate income by either charging up-front publishing fees, or by the sale of copies to the author.

Publishing your thesis with a ‘vanity press’ such as Lambert Academic Publishing (LAP)** may result in:

  • the loss of Copyright to your work, restricting further publishing from your research in books, conference proceedings or journal articles
  • a poor quality publication that doesn’t meet the requirements of reporting for the internal Research Outputs Collection (ROC)
  • loss of academic credibility / reputation.

** an imprint of Omniscriptum, formerly known as VDM Publishing - see Omniscriptum

It is always recommended that you carefully research and evaluate the credibility of a publisher before accepting an offer to publish your thesis. Consult your supervisor and/or the Research Office before making any decision.

The Library's Faculty Liaison staff can also often provide advice about publishers to avoid.

Journal Collections

Library book shelves

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