Librarians in Milner are regularly asked by faculty to help them evaluate the reputation of a particular publishing venue, usually a journal. In a lot of these cases, faculty want to avoid becoming victims of predatory publishing practices (say that five times fast). Predatory or deceptive publishing is a business model in which publishers exploit researchers’ need to publish as part of the tenure and promotion process. These publishers charge authors submission and/or publication fees and while the article will probably get “published” online, it also won’t receive quality peer review or editing. Sometimes, faculty just want more information about available journals in their field, like acceptance rates and how respected or prestigious a journal is compared to others, so they have a better of idea of where they want to submit their manuscript. So to help us all better navigate our scholarly publishing options, the library has subscribed to a couple databases from Cabell Publishing.
Milner’s new subscription is to Cabell’s Predatory Reports. As the title suggests, this is a blacklist of journals that have used exploitative publishing practices. As of early July 2020, there are around 13,500 journals listed in Predatory Reports, and the databases has been growing by about 2,000 journals each year. Personnel at Cabell’s use a transparent list of over 60 behavioral indicators when screening journals, and they update their criteria as needed. Each journal entry in Predatory Reports shows the “violations” that landed it there, along with the country of publication, when it was launched, if it’s open access or gated, and when it was reviewed. You can search for a particular journal title or browse by discipline.
Cabell’s Journalytics is a resource that ISU has had access to for a while (and it’s partially funded by the College of Business); it was called Cabell’s Whitelist until recently. Journalytics gives information about 11,000 journals in 18 broad disciplines. The site shows details like acceptance rate, review process and time to publication, style guide used, if open access is an option, along with metrics about the journal’s ranking within applicable fields and the difficulty of acceptance. You can select and compare several journals side-by-side, and you can create a free account to save journals whose profiles you want to track or access quickly.
Cabell’s Journalytics and Predatory Reports are just a couple of the many tools the library provides to help researchers decide on a publication venue, but perhaps none are as valuable as our librarians who can assist with searching, answering your questions, and helping you feel confident about your conclusion. Contact your subject librarian if any questions come up.
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