Those of you who use Beall’s list of predatory journals may have noticed that it has vanished. So far there is no official word on the reason for this or whether the information will be listed elsewhere. In the mean time, here are some ways you can make sure you are using a reputable journal:
- If a journal you don’t know claims to have an impact factor check it in Journal Citation Reports – you can find this by going to Web of Science and clicking the link at the very top of the screen.
- Alternatively, you can just look a journal up in Web of Science and click the title to see impact factor and other information.
- Another tool you can use as a clue to quality is SUNCAT. This is a union catalogue of UK university library serial collections. You can look up a journal and see which universities, if any, subscribe to it.
- Checking on the editorial board is another way of checking on a journal. A quick google search should be enough to tell you if they are reputable academics. One suspicious journal I have looked at had as it’s editors people like B.Jones, California – untraceable!
- Major indexing systems such as Scopus, Web of Science, Inspec, MLA bibliography and other subject databases all use some form of quality control so journals listed in these should be fine. The Directory of Open Access Journals also uses some checking criteria to try to exclude predatory journals.