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Where to Publish in the Health Sciences

This guide provides tips on finding high-quality journals for your potential publications

Ulrich's Periodicals Directory

Is the Journal a COPE Member?

COPE stands for the Committee on Publication Ethics. COPE is committed to promoting ethical publishing standards among editors, publishers, and authors. Journal publishers that are members of COPE are less likely to be predatory.

What Are Predatory Publishers?

Predatory journal publishers exploit the open-access model. These journals are open-access but often charge the author exorbitant publishing fees without the benefit of a robust peer-review process. Predatory journals are often not up-front about these fees. Publishers of these journals tend to seek out papers from new faculty members or researchers who are eager to publish articles for the first time.

What to Look for & Avoid

Transparent Author Fees
  • Journal publishers should be transparent about their author fees. Look at the journal publishers' website to see if you can find information about these fees.
Peer-Review Process
  • Does the journal's website provide information about their peer-review process? Avoid journals that boast of an unusually speedy timeline for reviewing and accepting papers.
Aggressive Solicitation
  • Be wary of publishers that send you multiple invitations to submit to their journal. Look carefully at the email invitations to see if there are typos and spelling errors.
  • Look for the journal publisher to have a professional looking, current website that is free of spelling and grammatical errors.
Editorial Board
  • Does the journal's website list credentials and information about the editorial board members? Are the editorial board members' credentials consistent with the journal's disciplinary focus?
Journal Scope
  • Predatory journals sometimes have a scope that is too broad to be realistic.
Journal Title
  • Look carefully at the journal's title. Avoid journals whose titles too closely resemble those of highly-ranked journals in your field.
  • You will want your journal article to be easily discoverable, so that means that you will want to see if your journal is indexed in the major online databases used by researchers. You can double check the places where your journal is indexed by checking Ulrich's Periodicals Directory. Please note that there have been a few predatory journals indexed in PubMed, so inclusion in PubMed does not automatically indicate that the journal is not predatory. The indexing of the journals should be one of several factors to consider when you evaluate the journal's quality.
Impact Factor
  • While the impact factor of a journal is one indicator of quality, keep in mind that predatory publishers occasionally inflate their impact factor on their websites. Double check journal citation reports to get an accurate impact factor.


Health Sciences Librarian

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Kate Silfen
Mugar Memorial Library