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To choose an open access journal

There are a number of things to consider before submitting an article to a journal.

Quality control

The publisher and/or journal has undergone quality control if at least one of the points below is confirmed:

  • The publisher is a member of the OASPA
  • The journal is registered in DOAJ
  • The journal is indexed in Web Of Science, PubMed, Scopus or some other index database that conducts quality assessments. Do not rely on the journal’s website; search for the journal in the relevant service’s list of indexed journals.
  • A check in the Norwegian Register for which level the journal has.

In order to receive financial support to publish in open access journals not included in an agreement, the journal must meet some of these quality requirements.

The general impression of the journal

  • Check individual articles in the journal. Do they fall within the journal’s disciplinary boundaries?
  • Are previously published articles authored by well-known contributors and/or from renowned institutions in the discipline?
  • Who is on the editorial board? Are they relevant to the subject of the journal? There are examples of dubious journals that have named researchers as members of their editorial board, without asking for permission.
  • Does the peer review process seem reasonable? If the journal promises peer review the same week/ in a very short time, it is probably not serious.
  • Is there reliable contact information?

Think about this before submitting an article

The website "Think Check Submit" contains a good overview of what to consider before submitting an article:

Use the website Think Check Submit to identify trusted journals and publishers

Dubious publishers and journals

Although many publishers and journals are of good quality, there are some unscrupulous publishers who use the OA journals payment system.
They charge for publishing while trying to maximize profits by keeping costs down and publishing a large number of articles at a fast pace.

A dubious journal will lack a thorough peer review process and are usually not indexed in any of the most established databases, which means that your article will not be properly visible and searchable.

Some publishers and journals also run persistent e-mail campaigns to get researchers to publish or do peer-review work for them. Assess the journal as described above to make sure that the publisher or journal is of good quality.

Both open access journals and traditional subscription-based journals can be questionable. As a researcher, however, it can be difficult to keep track of the publishing world and which journals and publishers might be dubious.

If you are contacted by LAP

Lambert Academic Publishing is a monograph publisher that contacts recent doctoral and Master’s graduates with offers to publish their theses or degree projects in book form. It is dubious whether there is any benefit to you as an author in doing this. The publisher is not open access.

A few links concerning being contacted by LAP/VDM:

I received the following email from LAP Lambert

VDM is an academic author mill

Academic Spam

Contacts for additional help

If you are still uncertain, please contact your faculty library or the University Library for help in assessing a journal or publisher.


For questions about dubious journals and publishers, and help with assessing a journal, contact:

publicera [at] lub [dot] lu [dot] se (publicera[at]lub[dot]lu[dot]se).