Quality Assurance

Quality of open access publications

Articles published in trusted open access journals are peer-reviewed and achieve higher impact factors in certain subject areas. However, in the course of open access publishing, dubious business models have emerged.

Predatory Publishing

"Predatory publishers" refers to open-access-publishers with a dubious business model. This includes business practices that offer publishing services in return for publication fees, but do not perform them at all or only inadequately. For example, no quality assurance process (e.g. peer review) is conducted.

If not listed there, it does not necessarily mean that the publisher or journal is not reputable. Since inclusion in the directories requires a prior review process, new journals and publishers are sometimes not yet registered.

How to check trustworthiness?


To identify trusted journals and publishers, we recommend checking the following aspects:

  • Is the ISSN of the journal correct?
  • Is the journal evaluated by reputable databases?
  • Is the publisher a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) or theCommittee on Publication Ethics (COPE)?
  • Is the journal evaluated in the "Journal Citation Reports" or in other established metrics?
  • Who are the editors? Do the editors appear in several unrelated journals?
  • Is the website/platform coherent (or does it contain errors, standard phrases etc.)?
  • Are unrealistic statements or promises made regarding the review period?
  • Are the contractual agreements serious? When publishing in open access journals, authors should retain their rights of use, pay article fees only after acceptance or publication, and find clear information about the amount of the costs on the journal's website.

You can find a detailed checklist on the website Think!Check!Submit!. In addition, you can check the quality of individual articles in the Web of Science or Scopus databases.


Predatory Conferences

Similar to untrusted publishers, predatory conferences are a growing phenomenon in academia. These fake conferences have little or no scientific merit and charge very high registration fees. Furthermore, the conference name often bears a strong resemblance to an existing conference series. The quality of the submitted papers is poorly checked and they are often even published by predatory publishers.

In order to check conferences for their trustworthiness, you can use the checklist Think.Check.Attend


Gesa Baron
Universitätsallee 1, CB.107
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Martin Bilz
Universitätsallee 1, CB.105
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Fon +49.4131.677-1113