Thanks for your question. I would echo what Richard says above and use the Think.Check.Submit (www.thinkchecksubmit.org) guidelines – particularly in checking with your senior colleagues and being wary of broad ‘international’ journals. However, I know that some researchers find these guidelines difficult to follow without practical advice and background information, so I’m going to share my own analysis of these three journals.
BEFORE WE START – the $1million dollar question (this is an expression – sadly there is no prize):
Q:Where did you hear about these journals?
If the answer is ‘in an email’ then these will probably be untrustworthy journals. Be suspicious of any email you receive unless it is from somebody you know, or a service or publisher you subscribe to. ‘Predatory’ journal staff scour the internet for email addresses of researchers from all over the world to send them invite emails – most people ignore these emails, but a tiny percentage are tempted, and this is enough to make these deceptive journals a nice profit.
Let’s look at each of the journals in turn
This is a journal owned by the publisher ‘Publishing India’ who are probably a legitimate publisher - they have a proper address and contact details, and some of their journals are over 10 years old. I don’t think it’s an ‘international’ journal though – the editorial board is quite small, and it’s not very well indexed (see below). The journal is also subscription only, so it would be difficult to share this research with other people. However, the journal does not charge a fee, so couldn’t be accused of exploiting authors for profit.
I would maybe publish in this journal, but only once you have compared with other journals in your field – there are probably journals that are better indexed, more geographically relevant and open access.
I’ll focus on two things about this journal (it also has a fake impact factor, but I’ll leave that lesson for the next journal).
Firstly, as Richard says above, be sceptical of journals that are called ‘international’ and have a very broad scope. “Advanced Research” is about as broad as you can get. How can you be confident that this journal has the editorial expertise to understand and peer review your work?
There are some famous international journals that cover a wide range of research such as Science, Nature, or ‘megajournals’ such as PlosOne or F1000. In order to cover such a range of subjects, they need access to a large network of researchers all over the world. Take a look at the Editorial Board listing for Plos One or Nature Scientific Reports. As you can see they have an extensive list of editors covering every area under the natural and clinical sciences, so you can be confident in their expertise in your subject area.
Compared to this, the IJAR (which is also claiming to be an ‘international’ journal which covers even more subject areas than Science and Nature) is not so impressive. Their Editor in Chief is a ‘Dr Morse Florse’ of the UK. What a funny name! Unfortunately, there is no institutional affiliation listed, it just says he is in the UK, so no way of checking his credibility. I did a search on Google for ‘Morse Florse’ and there is no information on this person, except that he is listed as an editor in chief for lots of journals with similar names. I’m pretty sure this is a fake name, and perhaps based on the fictional detective Inspector Morse!.
DO NOT submit to this journal.
3- International Journals of Multidisciplinary Research Academy (IJMRA)
Wow, this is a colourful website. This is usually a bad sign. Apart from the garish website design, the main ‘red flag’ is that it claims to have an Impact Factor. Many researchers are swayed by this indicator, but you should always check that it’s true.
In order to qualify for an Impact Factor (which you can find out more about here),journals must be indexed in the Clarivate Web of Science (also called Science Citation Index, or Journal Citation Reports (JCR)). To get indexed takes several years and has a high standard of inclusion. You can check if a journal is listed in the database at this link: http://mjl.clarivate.com/ . If the journal is not listed, then it is lying about its Impact Factor. IJMRA is not listed.
DO NOT submit to this journal.
Other important indexes and metrics:
Apart from the Web of Science, there are other indexes that are used that are useful to check. Some journals are dishonest about their inclusion, but it’s easy to find out if they are telling the truth:
Scopus is a journal index owned by Elsevier and is generally thought to be a good indicator of a high-quality, credible journal. You can search to check if journals are indexed via this link: http://www.scimagojr.com/journalsearch.php
Pubmed is an index for medical journals. You can search the database here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nlmcatalog/
(The best quality journals in Pubmed are included in a higher ‘tier’ called Medline. You can identify these journals in within Pubmed marked as ‘Currently indexed for MEDLINE’.)
The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) provides a listing of Open Access Journals that have passed its basic entry criteria. Look out for the ‘green tick’ of approval. Journals that follow best practice have also been awarded a gold seal. https://doaj.org/search
Where else can search for a target journal?
There are well over 30,000 academic journals that are findable online, so there are plenty of options!
See also my colleague Ravi Murugesan's article 'How to target a journal that’s right for your research'
Let us know if you have any questions about any of the above