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Journal Publishing and Citation Tracking: A Guide for Babson Faculty

An informational guide covering important aspects of the journal publishing process (discipline-based or pedagogical fields); Open Access journals (including predatory publishers); and journal citation tracking

Publishing Opportunities

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) maintains a list of reputable scholarly journals whose focus is on teaching and learning. The basic criteria for inclusion on the list are that the journal must be English language; peer-reviewed; focused on higher-education; and focused on teaching and learning. Of particular interest to Babson faculty will be the Social Science journals listed under Accounting, Business, and Economics. This list is updated every few years. 

Association of College and Research Libraries Selected List of Journals on Teaching and Learning


Many faculty members across the globe choose to publish in open access journals. Some choose, for philosophical reasons, to publish only in open access journals. Most databases which index journal content will indicate which journals are open access and which are not, but here are two resources that list all of the known and available open access journals. Each makes an attempt to reduce or eliminate the listing of predatory or questionable journals, but there is always the risk of finding some that you or your colleagues may consider problematic.

Directory of Open Access Journals

Predatory Publishers: Red Flags

Beall's List -- no longer active

Jeffrey Beall (librarian and associate professor, UC-Denver) is known for his criticism of what he finds is an alarming trend of predatory practices in the Open Access publishing movement. He had maintained a list of open access journals which he determined to be predatory in nature, but his list of predatory publishers has since been deactivated since January 2017. His work is continued by Cabell's International.

Inside Higher Ed highlights the story.


Evaluating Scholarly Journals

If you are in any doubt about the credibility of a journal, here are some suggested steps for evaluating a scholarly journal before making a submission:

  • Is there a fee to submit and/or to publish an accepted submission?  In itself, a fee does not definitively signal a predatory journal as some high-quality journals use a fee to manage the number of submissions, and reputable open-access journals may charge a publication fee.  In general, predatory journals charge a fee, but not all journals that charge a fee are predatory. 
  • Look at the journal’s main webpage.
    • If there are strange or egregious grammatical errors, keep investigating.  Non-predatory scholarly journals, including those from publishers outside of the U.S., usually have good translating and copyediting of their website.
  • Try to ascertain the publisher.  If it is not a publisher that you or your division colleagues readily recognize, then:
    • Go to Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association ( or Directory of Open Access Journals ( to see whether the publisher is listed there as a member.  Publishers listed on these sites are reputable. 
    • Predatory journals are known to display an official-looking seal on their websites that is close in terminology to OASPA (e.g., Open Association of Research Society, USA).  When in doubt, visit or
  •  Look at the composition of the editorial board.
    • Does the number and composition of editorial board members seem in line with your experience in general?  If not, keep investigating.
    • Is there someone you recognize in your field? 
      • If not, Google any name and check that person’s affiliation.  Predatory journals are known to list graduate students or faculty members with an incorrect institutional affiliation as editorial board members.
      • If yes and if it is a high-profile person, check the personal website of the high-profile faculty member to see whether the journal is listed on their CV. Predatory journals are known to list high-profile faculty members who have no connection whatsoever to the journal.
  • Look for clearly explained details of the review process. 
    • If details are not readily provided, keep investigating.  Predatory journals are known to accept submissions very quickly (sometimes immediately) upon receipt of a fee and to not provide detail, if requested, of how a submission was reviewed.
    • If details are not provided on the website, email the editor or a member of the editorial board for that information.  Reputable journals respond readily and fully to this kind of request.