South East European University
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Conferences and Journals: Basic Characteristics

As an aide to the staff and students of South East European University, the SEEU Research Office has prepared this basic list of the characteristics of good and bad conferences and journals. None of these should be absolutely definitive; this is intended as assistance in your deliberations of where to present or publish your work.

Signs of a Bad Journal:

  • Large publication fee
  • Vague or generalized title
  • Publishes papers in virtually any field of research
  • Immediate or rapid acceptance
  • No clear physical location for the publisher, or incongruous locations (i.e., the American Journal of Linguistics should not be published in Bangalore, India)
  • Large editorial board of unknowns from around the world
  • Poor language usage in correspondence
  • Contacts you directly and inexplicably (no known connection to you)
  • It is published more than 4 times a year
  • It’s email address is private and not related to an institution
  • Owner of the publishing house is defined as an editor of a large number of the published journals
  • Non-transparent procedures of publishing
  • Fraudulent indication of the impact factor or. It gives its special impact factor
  • Cheating when stating indexing (eg. in the index databases that do not exist or cite inclusion in the legitimate and prestige index databases, where it can not be included)
  • Incongruous website publisher without any real base (eg. "Leading publisher" - in catalogs but has a very young anniversary)

Signs of a Good Journal:

  • Known in the field
  • Clear focus or theme
  • Associated with a specific publisher, university or institution
  • No, or very low, publication fee (for the author)
  • Editorial board consists of identifiable individuals known in the field
  • Long response times (for review)
  • Rejections or requirements for changes
  • Clear and informed advice from reviewers with subject-specific references
  • Issues a CFP but does not invite you personally to submit
  • Published papers contain DOI numbers

Signs of a Bad Conference:

  • Located in a hotel or rented space, not in a university or other intellectual institution
  • Has a vague theme encompassing many disciplines
  • Emphasizes parallel sessions to accommodate huge numbers of acceptances
  • Organizing committee is people from all over the world, not individuals local to the conference’s location
  • Offers resort or spa accommodation
  • Promises to publish works that will be ‘submitted’ for indexing or ranking
  • Registration costs are disproportionately higher than can be explained by what the participant receives (food, book of abstracts, etc.)
  • Poor language usage in either the Call or subsequent correspondence
  • Encourages ‘virtual’ presentations

Signs of a Good Conference:

  • Has a specific and clear theme
  • Located in a University or other institution associated with scholarship or research
  • Has a known organizing committee, or at least an organizing committee clearly associable with the institution or location
  • Has a clear and reasonable explanation of what the conference fee covers and includes
  • Explains clearly what the publication arrangements, if any, will be for papers presented
  • Prioritizes in-person presentations

Accessories for assessing publishers

See also the articles:

If you have a question about the quality of the journal or publisher, please contact:

SEEU Research Office