Skip to main content

Author's Corner: Predatory Journals, Publishers & Conferences

Writing, publishing and sharing resources for Fred Hutch authors.

Questions about Predatory Publishers, Journals and Conferences?

Fred Hutch faculty, students and staff:  If you need assistance researching an unfamiliar journal, publisher or conference email or call (x4314) your librarians.  We're here to help.

Think - Check - Submit

If you have questions about the quality of a journal? Use the checklist at Think - Check - Submit to help you evaluate it.

Is this Journal Indexed?

Journals that are indexed have typically been subjected to scrutiny by professional committees or indexers using standardized criteria.  Inclusion in well-known indexes like MEDLINE is a useful signal regarding a journal's legitimacy.

Lists and Notices regarding Possible Predatory Journals and Publishers

The following sites are good starting points for investigating journals and publishers.

Think - Check - Attend

Think - Check - Attend


Think Check Attend is an initiative that guides researchers and scholars when deciding whether to attend a conference or submit an abstract and present their research. The 3-step approach encourages academics to ‘Think’ about the problem posed by predatory or substandard conferences, ‘Check’ the conference against a set of criteria designed to highlight attributes of good and bad quality conferences, and ‘Attend’ only if the conference adheres to the criteria consistent with a legitimate conference. This initiative is provided by Knowledge E and has been endorsed by Think Check Submit as a sister initiative to Think Check Submit.

Predatory Conferences

NIH Statement on Article Publication Resulting from NIH Funded Research

NIH Notice Number: NOT-OD-18-011

To protect the credibility of published research, authors are encouraged to publish papers arising from NIH-funded research in reputable journals.
Recommendations to identify credible journals
To help protect the credibility of papers arising from its research investment, NIH encourages its stakeholders, including grantees, contractors, intramural researchers, and librarians, to help authors: 
  • Adhere to the principles of research integrity and publication ethics;
  • Identify journals that follow best practices promoted by professional scholarly publishing organizations; and
  • Avoid publishing in journals that do not have a clearly stated and rigorous peer review process.

For more information or to read the full text of this notice, visit: NIH Notice Number: NOT-OD-18-011

Publishing Community Ethics and Standards

The publishing community is engaged in various efforts to help scholars identify predatory journals and create standards and codes of ethics.