Choosing a Publisher in a Time of “Predatory” Practices

Much has been discussed and written in the past few years about so called “predatory” publishing practices, which are better characterized as “questionable” publishing practices.  Many people working in academia have received email notes asking them to submit a paper to a journal with a familiar-sounding name or to give keynote talk at a conference or to join an editorial board.  While there is nothing wrong with publishers soliciting in this way, since the academic workforce supplies publishers with their needed content, the number of these that are not relevant to the person’s field has increased considerably.  Another practice that has emerged is placing people on editorial boards without their permission.  

Dartmouth faculty have been concerned about the prevalence of these practices, and so we are developing programs and materials to help faculty, students, and staff navigate the contemporary publishing landscape, while supporting the emergence of new journals and publishers. The challenge is to provide succinct information while maintaining a nuanced view of the current publishing landscape, and enabling dissemination of global scholarship and research. 

To accomplish that for the Dartmouth community, we developed Choosing An Article Publisher: A Checklist.   We also draw attention to Think Check Submit, a new tool that was collaboratively developed by stakeholders in the academic publishing community. 

Although these tools provide a good place to start in your thinking about choosing a publisher, journal or conference to disseminate your work, in the end every situation is unique to the subject area or individual.   So we are happy to offer seminars customized to  your research group or department, and of course answer your own questions. 

For questions and to arrange a seminar, please contact Barbara DeFelice and Jen Green in Dartmouth’s Scholarly Communication, Copyright and Publishing Program




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