With the ease and popularity of open access publishing, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of journals published. Many of these publishers are corrupt and exist only to make money off the author processing charges that are billed to authors upon acceptance of their manuscripts. Scholars should avoid sending article submissions to these “fake” or “predatory” journals, serving on their editorial boards, or reviewing papers for them.
How to avoid predatory journals? First, you should know the journals in your field. Reputable journals focusing on Southeast Asia in the fields of language and literature include JSEAS (Singapore), Archipel (Paris), Crossroads (NIU), plus there are many country specific journals such as (for Indonesia) BKI, RIMA, IMW, Indonesia etc. These are the journals in which a scholar of Indonesian studies is expected to publish. Then, there are disciplinary journals for applied linguistics, philology, comparative literature, etc. Some of them are excellent other’s aren’t. Don’t be fooled by the name either. The Bijdragen to de Taal-, Land-, en Volkenkunde is one of the most prestigious journals in the field of Southeast Asian Studies whereas the International Journal of Language and Literature published by the American Research Institute for Policy Development is a junk journal.
If you have written an article that you intend to publish, you should avoid searching the Internet for an appropriate journal. Instead, we recommend that you to rely on the advise of senior colleagues. Why do we advise against using the Internet? Let’s say you want to publish an article with a focus on comparative literature. When you google for the search words “journal”, “comparative”, and “literature”, chances are that you will come across the “International Journal of Comparative Literature and Translation Studies“, a “double-blind peer-reviewed academic journal published by Australian International Academic Centre PTY. LTD.” When you access their very professionally designed website you will learn that the journal has an ISSN, is indexed, refereed, maintains high scholarly standards, and even has a paper acceptance rate of just 30%. Yet, this journal is nothing but one of the many fake or “predatory” journals that are abusing the otherwise laudable concept of open access publishing.
If you are considering to publish your article in a particular journal, do the following: 1. Check who the PUBLISHER of the journal is. 2. Go to both the List of Fake Publishers and the Beall’s List of Predatory Publishers to see if the publisher (or the journal in case of a standalone journal) is included in these two black lists. 3. If they are not listed send emails to colleagues and ask if anyone knows the journal. You may also contact your DPC for advice. 4. Then check the journal’s website:
- Are editors listed? Are their institutions listed?
- If you google the editors, do you find them? If so, are they at the listed institution? Do they hold an appropriate degree for their position on the editorial board?
- Are articles peer reviewed?
- Is the language used on the website grammatical?
- Are author fees and article processing charges clearly listed?
- Is there contact information for the journal, publisher, and/or editors?
- Do they use institutional and not disposable (gmail, yahoo, hotmail etc) email addresses?
- Does the “look and feel” of the website seem genuine?
- Who are the authors publishing in this journal?
- Is there a healthy balance in regards of the authors’ home countries?
- What is the quality of the published articles?
- If the quality of the website is low, but the articles appear to be good, could they be plagiarized?
- Is the scope so broad that it would be difficult or impossible to find peer reviewers?
Keep in mind that some of the smarter predatory journals may pass many of the above evaluation criteria! If you are still unsure about the quality or legitimacy of a journal or publisher, contact the editor with your concerns, and ask the IPLL DPC for advice.
Publishing Guidelines for Books
Ideally, your book should be published by a well-known academic publishing house or a major university press. Naturally this excludes presses of low ranking universities like Hasanuddin University Press and the like. Even though Hasanuddin University is one of the top ten universities in Indonesia, it is not a major research university and its publishing house is of very questionable quality.
If you are not sure whether or not a particular press is a quality academic press, ask your colleagues or the IPLL DPC. You can also email the press and ask whether they send the manuscript out for peer-review. Also ask if they copy-edit the manuscript. Any press that does not do those two things is not an academic press.
Avoid publishing your book with an obscure publishing house. Also stay away from those vanity presses that are sending you emails encouraging you to publish with them. If you want to publish a book to give it to your mother, this is a good option. Otherwise, steer clear of vanity presses or any press that does not send your book out for peer review.
I highly recommend reading the blog post “Does the status of the press matter?” in theprofessorisin.com.
Before you attend a conference, make sure that it is a legit academic conference organised by an renown institution. Read the Wikipedia Entry on Predatory Conferences and the Proposed Criteria for Identifying Predatory Conferences.
Published 2014-12-19 by Uli Kozok
Edited 2016-10-26 by Uli Kozok