Choosing a Reputable Publisher

It is important that researchers choose reputable publishers for their books, book chapters and journal articles. Poor decisions on where to publish may render your publications ineligible for ERA reporting, and may not serve to enhance your academic career.

A reputable publisher will:

  • Be unlikely to approach potential authors directly, or solicit through email campaigns.
  • Provide a high level of editorial support, and be responsible for the entire publishing process (review, copyediting, design, printing, distribution, publicity and marketing).
  • Provide full and verifiable address and contact details (i.e. not just a 'webfront').
  • For Open Access publishers - is publisher listed as OASPA (Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association) member? Peer review and other quality standards must be met by all publishers applying for membership and OASPA listing.

Less reputable publisher may fall into one of the following categories, or may offer services under a combination of these models:

Vanity publishing

  • The researcher pays to have work published, e.g. through editing, layout or printing charges, or membership fees.
  • Peer review may not be included, or may not meet acceptable standards of independence and competence.

Predatory publishing

  • These publishers frequently canvas PhD graduates with offers to publish their thesis, or approach more established researchers with offers to write and/or edit book chapters for a proposed book title.
  • Authors may be required to pay substantial processing fees, despite the fact that the publisher provides no peer review and little or no editorial support.


  • The author is responsible for all facets of the publications process, including production, marketing, and distribution of the book, and, as owner of the book and ISBN, receives all its profits.
  • As self-publishing does not guarantee independent peer review, quality cannot be assured.

Resource Links

Investigating journals: The dark side of publishing - Declan Butler. This article (published in Nature in March 2013) includes a checklist to identify reputable publishers.

Weblogs: Per Ola Kristensson