University and College libraries subscribe to databases which have had their contents vetted. This means any of those listed on the Detroit Mercy libraries website are good sources. We include a link to the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). There are also some directories such as Cabell's, a resource which is specific to business journals.
It is also helpful to consult WorldCat, which will confirm the journal has a history, and has been cataloged by a library. Some WorldCat records will also list were a specific journal is indexed.
Students: If uncertain about a source ask a librarian or your professor.
Faculty: Ask a mentor, other senior faculty, or a librarian if a journal seems dubious.
News and Papers
These are websites put up by entities which claim to be legitimate peer-reviewed journals, but are really a means to separate the unwary or desperate from their money. Unfortunately, these sites also can have a negative effect for those seeking tenure and promotion.
Like some good predators in nature, they are adept at mimicry; they may appear at first to be a real peer-reviewed or scholarly journal site. Condensed from Beall's List and other sources; here are some ways to tell if you are looking at such a site:
- Publish journals which are improbable combinations of disciplines.
- Use spam to solicit papers.
- Publish papers which have already been published elsewhere.
- Website has false or very little contact information.
- Promise peer-review and publication "the next day" or some other unlikely time frame
- List members of the editorial board who are individuals no one has ever heard of in the area(s) of research.
- Have 'sales' on the cost of publishing articles.
- Misspellings and/or bad grammar.
- Tout non-existant impact factors. (Impact factors are only calculated for journals indexed in the Citation Indexes, which is only a portion of all journals published.)
As of January 17, 2017 Beall's List of Predatory Publishers has been taken down. Stay tuned and stay skeptical.
Beall's List as of January 15, 2017 is available at the Internet Archive:
These journals are picked up by Google Scholar, so be aware.
Hymenopus coronatus (Orchid Mantis)