By Maureen Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief
The above three words sum up the message of a new campaign to increase awareness among researchers and authors about predatory publishers—entities that take advantage of authors by unscrupulous practices that often leave the authors tied up in a contract and owing a large fee to publish in a journal that has little or no standing. (See my related editorial on predatory publishing in the April issue of AJN.)
Promising rapid publication, predatory journals lack peer review and fact-checking, often tout fake metrics, and may adopt names that are deceptively similar to those of established journals. Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado, has been tracking predatory publishers since 2009 and maintains a list of them on his Web site, Scholarly Open Access.
The Think. Check. Submit. campaign describes itself as an “industry-wide initiative that provides a checklist of quality indicators that can help researchers identify if a journal is a trustworthy.” It’s a new campaign “produced with the support of a coalition from across scholarly communications in response to discussions about deceptive publishing.” In brief, it asks authors to:
THINK about where they should publish their work. Are the journals they are considering reputable?
CHECK the list of questions designed to help determine if a journal is respectable and sound.