Take a look at the Literature Reviews guide below for guidance on writing a literature review. The UBC Library Research Commons offer regular workshops on literature reviews, as well as workshops on systematic or scoping reviews. There is a separate guide for systematic and scoping reviews linked below.
Librarians offer one-on-one research consultations for help with any type of literature review. Contact your librarian to set up an in-person or online appointment.
If you need any assistance or have doubts about any journal, please contact your Subject Librarian.
Does UBC Library maintain an Institutional Membership with the journal's publisher?
UBC Library maintains institutional memberships with a variety of legitimate Open Access publishers and organizations. These memberships often provide discounts on article processing charges for UBC researchers. Consult the list of Open Access Publisher Discounts for UBC Researchers.
Is the journal included in DOAJ, the Directory of Open Access journals?
DOAJ reviews the quality of the journals it accepts and adds to its listings. Journals accepted into DOAJ tend to be more reputable. DOAJ maintains a list of journals which claim to be indexed in DOAJ, but are not indexed in DOAJ.
Is the publisher a member of OASPA?
OASPA (Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association) is committed to setting standards and promoting open access publishing. These Open Access publishers share information and are more likely to have higher standards than non-members. Check the membership list.
Is the journal indexed?
Major databases and index services try to include only legitimate, high-quality journals. If the journal's website lists names of indexes and abstracts that include the journal, confirm the information by searching in the index(es) they list. Find the index on UBC Library's list of databases here.
What are the journal's metrics?
Predatory journals may list completely fictitious impact factors. Check Journal Citation Reports or SJR (SCIMago Journal and Country Rankings) to see if the journal has a legitimate impact factor, especially if the journal website claims that it does. Note that JCR does not include some journals in the humanities, and newer Open Access journals may not yet have impact factor.
What are the citation counts on some individual papers?
Check the citation counts of several articles in the journal in Web of Science or Google Scholar. Are these articles being cited by others in that field? A low or non-existent citation count for articles published a few years ago may mean that the journal does not publish high quality research.
Was the Journal on Beall's List?
From 2008 to the end of 2016, Jeffrey Beal maintained a list of potentially problematic scholarly open access publishers and publications. Not without controversy, the list was helpful when used in conjunction with other factors. A copy of the December 2016 list is available at the Internet Archive.
Did the journal solicit your article or chapter?
Sometimes reputable Open Access publishers send out notices offering to publish your work, but direct email solicitations are not typically used by legitimate publishers. Make sure to find out more about the publisher/journal.
Does the submission process require transferring copyright of your article to the journal/publisher?
If you can't submit your article without first transferring your copyright, investigate the journal further.
Do you need to pay an article processing charge as you submit, i.e. before your article is accepted?
Most legitimate Open Access journals charge APC's upon acceptance.
(Adapted in part from "Evaluating Open Access Journals" is licenced as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Ryerson University Library and Archives.)