Many scientific journals, including biomedical and nursing journals, have an open access publishing model. An open access publication provides their content free to readers online and the cost of publishing is taken on by the authors who pay a processing fee to the publication. The goal of open access is to increase dissemination of knowledge by removing financial barriers to online peer-reviewed research. Credible peer-reviewed open access journals maintain the same rigorous editorial standards as traditional subscription-based peer-reviewed journals. Unfortunately, the opportunity for profit coupled with the relative ease of online publishing has led to the proliferation of “predatory publishers”; publishers whose sole purpose is to make money and who have no interest in advancing science or sharing knowledge, goals shared by all trustworthy publications. Predatory publishers aggressively pursue authors through email solicitation and publish everything submitted to them. They claim to be peer-reviewed but rarely are – in fact, this has been tested by a number of different authors who submitted manuscripts composed of gibberish with bizarre titles that were accepted and published by multiple predatory publishers.
DO NOT GET FOOLED BY PREDATORY PUBLISHERS. It can hurt your career and your work will not get the attention or dissemination it deserves. In fact, it will not be viewed as credible and will not become part of building a body of knowledge as these journals are not considered appropriate sources for evidence or citations in future work. However, avoiding them can be difficult, especially for new scholars and authors. The number and sophistication of predatory publishing continues to grow. They use journal names that are very close to respected journals, they list respected scholars on their editorial boards, they claim an impact factor (the metric used in scholarly publishing to determine the reach and influence of a journal), and they get onto scholarly databases. So what should you do to be sure your work is published in a credible journal?
- Only submit to journals familiar to you through your experience or specialty organizations.
- Check out the editor of the journal. Are they someone known in the profession?
- Read through the recommendations on how to choose the right journal at Think. Check. Submit.
- Check to see if it’s listed on The International Association of Nurse Editors’ (INANE) Directory of Nursing Journals.
- Ask a health sciences librarian. Most have a deep and broad knowledge of the literature.
- Be wary of email solicitations and do not respond to those that are highly flattering, promise quick acceptance, or have grammatical or language use errors.