Answered By: Arwen Meador
Last Updated: Jun 06, 2024     Views: 45

Is it predatory?

If you answer no to any of the following questions, the journal can be considered questionable, if not predatory. 

  1. Do you or your colleagues know the journal? Do you recognize the editorial board?
  1. Can you easily access the journal's website and locate contact information for the publisher? Can you contact the publisher?
  1. Is the journal's website free of spelling and grammatical errors?
  1. Is the journal clear about its article processing charges (APCs) and peer-review policies? 

Is it reputable?

Inclusion in particular resources can indicate that a journal is reputable. Search the following resources for the journal in question or use the the library's Journal Assessment tool to investigate a journal. 

  • Is the journal included in the Directory of Open-Access Journals?
    • Search the Directory of Open-Access Journals (DOAJ) to learn whether the journal is included. The DOAJ carefully vets open-access journals for inclusion. If the journal in question is not included in the directory, it may be questionable.
    • Directory of Open Access Journals (Limit the search to Journals only)
  • Is the journal indexed for MEDLINE?
    • Search the NLM Catalog to learn whether the journal is indexed for MEDLINE, the largest subset of PubMed. If the journal is not currently indexed for MEDLINE, it may be questionable.  New journals and those outside the scope of biomedical and life sciences may not be included.
    • The NLM Catalog
  • Is the journal listed in Cabell's Predatory Reports?
    • Search Cabell's Predatory Reports to see if the journal has been flagged for predatory publishing behaviors. If the journal is listed in the report, Cabell's has determined that it engages questionable and/or predatory publishing practices. 
    • Cabell's Predatory Reports (Access to this resource is restricted to MD Anderson employees)
  • Does the journal claim to have a JCR Impact Factor?
    • Search the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) database to confirm that the journal has an impact factor. The JCR impact factor is exclusive to journals that have been vetted by the database. If the journal claims to have a JCR impact factor but is not included in the database, it is likely questionable. Please be aware that not all journals are tracked in the JCR database. New journals must build a record of citations before the database will consider it for inclusion. 
    • Journal Citation Reports database (Access to this resource is restricted to MD Anderson employees)

Additional Tips

  • Google it! Conduct a search of Google using the journal title with the word predatory. You may be able to quickly find news stories about the journal and its predatory practices, if it has been reported.
  • Ask a Librarian! The library can help you identify reputable journals for your research. Visit our Choosing a Journal page or email us at

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