1. Section Editor(s): Newland, Jamesetta PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FAANP, DPNAP

Article Content

Have you received e-mail requests to submit your manuscript, join an editorial board, or even become the editor of a prestigious new scholarly journal? Have you seen promises of publication within 2 to 3 weeks of submission including expert peer review? Perhaps you have been invited to present your highly respected research at a global/international meeting where everyone who is anyone in the field will be in attendance.

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

The invitation is full of praise of your work, and the links to websites look legitimate. Even the name of the journal or sponsoring organization sounds scholarly and professional. You might subconsciously read these names as known, reputable journals or organizations and not question their legitimacy. The opportunity appears too good to ignore-just what you need to help you meet requirements for appointment, promotion, or tenure at an academic institution. Your interest could also be as simple as seeking personal validation or satisfaction. Researchers and faculty members are the usual targets, but other professionals might also be approached. If you receive one of these invitations, be informed and cautious of imposters.


Open access

The dissemination of scientific and scholarly information is no longer restricted to print publications. Many reputable journals offer online open access publication as an option for authors. Open access articles are often available at no cost to readers and are distributed with fewer copyright and licensing restrictions than traditional publications. This level of open access depends on sources of funding other than subscription fees.


Authors or their sponsors pay a fee to have a paper published as open access. The National Institutes of Health requires that any manuscript resulting from research funded by one of its agencies be available to the public. Open access makes research findings more accessible for use; however, open access has also made exploitation easier.1


For individuals conducting evidence-based practice, the latest research findings guide the changes you implement in practice. It is equally important that you find information from reliable sources. So you, too, must be informed and cautious. Even though a paper is published, it may not be based on real data or peer reviewed, and may be published in a predatory journal. The last thing you want to do is base your practice on false information.



Jeffrey Beall, librarian and professor, compiles and regularly updates a list of questionable, scholarly open-access publishers. He identifies criteria for determining the credibility of a journal, such as an identified editor, transparency in publishing operations, a name congruent with the journal's mission, or a clear, legitimate peer review process.2 The same diligence is necessary when reviewing invitations to present at a conference.


In 2014, editors from the International Academy of Nursing Editors (INANE) ( began an initiative to publish editorials in their respective journals on predatory publishing. INANE is an international collective of editors and publishers whose "primary mission is to promote best practices in publishing and high standards in the nursing literature."


More than 40 editorials, blogs, or other means of communication, have been written and are posted on the INANE site along with a link to Nurse Author & Editor (, an "international publication dedicated to publishing high-quality, current, and informative articles on scholarly writing and publishing in the nursing literature." Seek the assistance of your medical librarian if you have any doubts regarding an article's source.


Nursing responsibility

Nursing makes a significant contribution to the scientific literature in healthcare. Likewise, nurses are key participants in translating evidence to practice. Open-access publishing facilitates the dissemination of research findings and practice change in the hands of the informed.


Jamesetta Newland, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FAANP, DPNAP

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.





1. Bowman JD. Predatory publishing, questionable peer review, and fraudulent conferences [Article 176]. Am J Pharm Educ. 2014;78(10):176. [Context Link]


2. Beall J. Criteria for determining predatory open-access publishers (3rd ed). 2015. [Context Link]