Academic Publishing Guide – How to Choose the Right Publisher
Academic publishing houses distribute academic research and knowledge. Most of their work is published in academic journals and books. However, with the rise of global publishing and online journal submissions, predatory journals have started to emerge.
These are journals with questionable origins that lack academic rigor and scholarship, and that use aggressive practices in the editor and author recruitment.
This article explains how to dodge predatory journal traps and opt for a trustworthy academic publisher for your work.
Everything You Need to Know About Academic Publishers
Academic publishing companies deal with academic research and knowledge. Their main goal is to promote knowledge in their respective scientific fields and connect like-minded individuals.
Academic publishers publish work according to specific industry standards. The 2021 Association of University Presses represents an important resource and reference for all academic publishers.
Some of the academic publisher has a specific subject area while others publish many disciplines. Some of the main areas include scientific, technical, social science, and educational publishing. Authors should know their field's publishing landscape for a better chance of getting their work accepted by the publisher.
The publishing process consists of two phases – peer review and the production process.
Most academic publishing is centered around peer review. Once the author submits the manuscript to the journal, the writing goes through a quality assessment before it's published. The editorial team typically selects peer reviewers within the same field of research as the manuscript’s creator. This is a way for publishers to ensure high-quality content for their journals, confirm the validity of the manuscript, and make the work more robust, easier to read, and valuable.
The production process consists of typesetting, copy editing, proofreading, and publishing the article.
Publishing houses typically create an information sheet or a fact sheet that lets the readers and target audience know essential information about their journals' work, services, scope, and similar topics.
Key Elements to Consider When Choosing Your Publisher
Below are essential elements to consider when choosing the right academic publisher for your work.
When submitting to an academic publisher, you want them to share the same topics of interest as your research. Their audience should match the target audience of your article. Some publishers are only focused on one field, while others have a broader scope (like Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press.)
As you look for a publisher, it's best to ask yourself whether you're writing for a narrow or broad audience. For example, if you plan to publish in the humanities and social sciences journals, it's one of the options to look for publishers mainly in this area.
You can go through your work's bibliography and find relevant journals that may be interested in your topic. Finally, look for the scope of the journal on their webpage and send your manuscript to the one that matches your article's scope.
Reputation is among the most important factors to consider when sending a manuscript to a journal. It's also what makes a reliable publisher stand out from a predatory one.
The Impact Factor is one of the best attempts to measure a journal's reputation. It's a measurement of how many citations a specific journal receives. Even though it's not the perfect method, it can help you tell an actual academic publisher from a fake one.
The question of rights can often dictate whether you want to go with a specific publisher or not. Some publishers transfer the copyright from the author to them, while others allow the author to keep the copyright
Transparency is essential when submitting a manuscript for publication. That's why you want to know the editorial policy of the publisher. Do they employ peer review? What types of review processes do they use? Maybe you prefer a specific type of peer review not offered by the publisher.
Journals have different levels of readership. To make sure your article reaches the largest audience, you can look for the following factors:
- Indexing. Can people find the journal in the database searches? Look for places where your journal is indexed and decide whether you'd have enough visibility in your field of study.
- Open access. Open access journals are available on the web so that anyone can read them. Publishing in an open-access journal means huge readership potential worldwide
- Author's rights. You should be able to retain the right to publish your article online. You can post it on Google Scholar and other repositories with plenty of readers.
How to Recognize Predatory Journals
Predatory journals are made primarily for-profit rather than promoting legitimate academia and research advancements. These companies bombard users with emails asking for articles, misrepresent the publication’s reputation and conduct many more dishonest actions.
Signs of Predatory Journals
Watch for the following signs that reveal predatory publishers.
The website of a predatory journal lacks a proper layout and design. It features no contacts, provides false information about the editorial board members, has a broad subject scope, misses DOI and ISSN standards, and has no author instructions or published articles on their website. Also, a predatory journal website will feature spelling and grammar mistakes and overall poor language use.
The peer-review process is vital to upholding the quality of published articles, and it's the essential stamp of publication approval in academic research. Some predatory journals miss this step altogether. If they advertise a speedy peer review timeline, you should double-check their peer review policy.
Article Processing Fees
Article processing fees should be presented on the publisher's website. The author only pays the fees after they have been accepted for publication. If a publisher requests a fee before accepting the article, it could be a sign of a predatory journal. Also, some journals may hide the prices until authors agree to pay them.
Predatory journals often feature an editorial board that lacks field qualifications. Also, different journals from the same publisher may have the same editorial board. They may solicit scholars and well-known authors to become a part of the editorial board to gain credibility without letting them make any decisions.
Predatory publishers send flattering emails to ask for articles. They solicit authors to submit work for a fee. Once the author pays the cost, they no longer respond to emails.
Their messages are often packed with grammatical mistakes and typos. Plus, journals don't typically ask researchers to publish articles with them. It works the other way around.
The email addresses of predatory publishers are often non-professional (@gmail.com, @yahoo.com, etc.) A reliable publisher will have an email address related to their name.
Impact Factor and Indexing
Some predatory publishers can falsify impact factors. Be careful with journals that cite the following impact factors:
- Global Impact Factor (GIF)
- Index Copernicus Value
- Universal Impact Factor (UIF)
These are bogus impact factors used by predatory journals to falsely lead authors into trusting them.
As for indexing, if a journal isn't indexed in any of the major databases in its respected field, it's most likely a predatory journal but can also indicate its poor scientific quality. Also, journals that are difficult to find in library catalogs or databases of journals such as DOAJ and CABELLS, and whose publication frequency isn't stated are questionable.
Other signs of predatory publishers include:
- Reduced credibility of published research
- Unclear author copyright
- Similar name to a legitimate journal
- Not linked to or run by a credible scholarly, academic, or technical society or association
- Plagiarized journal titles
- Unverified contact information
- Predatory conference invitations profiting on attendee fees
Choose AKJournals as Your Academic Publisher
Choosing the right publisher is crucial in how your work is received in the academic world. The rise of the internet and online publishing has allowed predatory publishers to emerge. These are false publishing companies that solely aim to make a profit. It's essential to avoid these publishers to prevent damaging your reputation and being charged but receiving nothing in return.
AKJournals is a reputable publisher and one of the largest scientific publishing houses in Eastern Europe. Our portfolio includes international peer-reviewed journals, online scientific content services, and conference series (AKCongress). All journals in our database come with globally accepted measurements and high reputation. Make AKJournals your publisher if you want to bring your academic career to a new level.