Skip to main content
Becker Medical Library logotype
Library Quicklinks and Information

Selecting a Journal for Publication: Solicitations to Publish

Questionable Indicators

Did you receive an unsolicited email from a journal inviting you to submit a manuscript for peer review or to serve on an editorial board? As follows are some indicators noted in emails that may provide clues as to questionable journals for publication or review.


  • The content in the email contains misspellings and grammatical errors, with the content phrasing stilted and incomplete.
  • The journal title is not germane to your field of research.
  • The email contains flash media and colors.
  • There is no recognizable publisher name, nor do you recognize the name of the sender.
  • There is no academic information regarding the editor, editorial staff, and/or review board members (e.g., institutional affiliation).
  • The email address has a freely available domain name such as gmail or yahoo.
  • Geographic references may be vague such as “the Americas.”
  • The salutation may appear to be archaic.
  • The email solicitation is not from an actual person.
  • The email address does not contain the name of the sender or affiliation.
  • There are promises of swift peer review timeframes; within hours or days.
  • The article will be uploaded on a journal website within days after payment of processing fees.
  • There is no link to a journal website.
  • There is no specific journal noted.
  • The journal title is similar to an established journal.
  • Submission of manuscript is via email.
  • The sender praises your previous work in the field.
  • The sender wants to be your friend, send a gift, or offers immediate payment.
  • Publication fees are flexible or in some instances, you are asked to pay what you can afford.

If in doubt, ask a mentor or colleague or a librarian.

Cathy Sarli or Amy Suiter

Need Help?

Have you received an email solicitation to publish in a journal and are not sure if it is a reputable journal, ask a mentor or colleague or a librarian: Cathy Sarli or Amy Suiter.

Examples of Questionable Invitations to Submit a Manuscript