Survey reveals need for good guidance about trustworthy places to publish research

Finding an appropriate and trustworthy journal to publish in is a challenge for many researchers around the world and a common concern for researchers in INASP’s AuthorAID network. INASP is a founder and committee member of the Think. Check. Submit. initiative, which is helping researchers choose journals they can trust. The findings from Think. Check. Submit.’s recent survey, discussed in this press release, reveal the need for this work and will help guide development of the initiative in 2019.

19 December 2018 – A survey carried out by the Think. Check. Submit. initiative has revealed a strong demand from both researchers and librarians for guidance about where to publish and an appreciation of the services that the initiative offers. However, it also revealed a need for further educational resources and wider reach for the initiative.

Launched in 2015, Think. Check. Submit. helps researchers identify trusted journals for their research. Through a range of tools and practical resources, this international, cross-sector initiative aims to educate researchers, promote integrity, and build trust in credible research and publications. Central to the initiative is a checklist based on best practices in scholarly communication. The widely used checklist is available in nearly 40 languages from Albanian to Vietnamese.

The survey was carried out by Think. Check. Submit. in September 2018 as a benchmark to guide future work and was completed by 410 respondents from all parts of the world. In-depth analysis of the findings is still ongoing but preliminary analysis points to some clear trends:

  • Think. Check. Submit. is welcomed and seen to be fulfilling an important role. 14% said it was “essential” and 42% said it was “very useful”, while less than 7% of respondents said the initiative was “not very useful” or “not useful at all”. More than 75% would definitely recommend Think. Check. Submit. to a colleague.
  • The decision on where to publish is complex and dubious publications can take advantage of that. The top reason given by respondents for selecting a journal to publish in was relevance to their field, followed by inclusion in indexes/impact factor; belief that the journal was trustworthy came third and was the top choice for just over 20% of respondents.
  • There is still work to be done in building awareness of how Think. Check. Submit. can help researchers address this challenge; 34% of respondents had not heard of the initiative before completing the survey.
  • The responses to the survey revealed a sense of community ownership about the initiative, in particular the willingness of many survey respondents to provide more detailed insight and help with development of the initiative, for example by providing translations.

Building on the survey findings, in conjunction with the wider Think. Check. Submit. community, in 2019 the committee will focus on extending the reach of the initiative and further developing educational resources to assist researchers and librarians worldwide.

Contact
Alastair Horne
pressfuturist@gmail.com

About Think. Check. Submit. (thinkchecksubmit.org)
Think. Check. Submit. helps researchers identify trusted journals for their research. Through a range of tools and practical resources, this international, cross-sector initiative aims to educate researchers, promote integrity, and build trust in credible research and publications. The campaign has been produced with the support of a coalition from across scholarly communications in response to discussions about deceptive publishing (thinkchecksubmit.org/about).

Sian Harris
Siân Harris is a Communications Specialist at INASP

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