The rise of disreputable and dishonest journal publishers and conferences organizers—known as “predatory” journals and conferences—has made deciding where to publish articles and attend conferences a surprisingly difficult task. Whereas some journals and conferences can easily be dismissed as untrustworthy, others require further investigation and evaluation. Awareness of the publishing practices and selection criteria used by a journal can help you avoid being drawn in by publishers whose review practices fail to exclude works of low value and by conference organizers whose lack of selectivity may result in a poor-quality conference experience for attendees. Neither for-profit nor open-access status necessarily tells you if a publisher or conference organizer is unworthy of your attention. This article outlines criteria you can use to determine if journals or conferences should be considered worthy of publishing your manuscripts or hosting your presentations. Your time and work are limited and valuable. Where you choose to showcase them is important to both you and to other professionals in your field.
Kerry Sewell, MSLS, is one of the research librarian for East Carolina University's Health Sciences campus, Greenville, North Carolina. She provides research support for faculty, staff, and students from research conceptualization through publication and also leads the university's Systematic Review Service.
Gina Firnhaber, PhD, RN, is clinical assistant professor with the Nurse Anesthesia Program in the College of Nursing at East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina. In addition to providing instruction and support for students, she regularly engages in nursing and interprofessional writing projects and research.
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Correspondence: Gina C. Firnhaber, PhD, RN, East Carolina University College of Nursing, 3156 Health Sciences Bldg, Greenville, NC 27858 (firstname.lastname@example.org).