Skip to Main Content

Research Support: Publishing

Research support guide for faculty and students.

Department of Higher Education and Training Accredited Publications

The Department of Education defines an accredited/approved journal as follows:
Journals refer to peer-reviewed periodical publications devoted to disseminating original research and new developments within specific disciplines, sub-disciplines or field of study. These include original articles, research letters, research papers, and review articles. However, only approved journals are subsidised.

For your convenience we include a SEARCH ENGINE FOR ACCREDITED JOURNALS where ALL the accredited journal lists can be searched simultaneously. ~ (Courtesy of Corrie Breitenbach and Elize van Eldik, North-West University Library)

Predatory Journals, Publishers and Conferences.

When considering where to publish, please be wary of 'predatory' journals.  Most of the journals you will come across are legitimate, however some are questionable.  These predatory journals may lack credibility and in a few cases may be a scam.

Not all Open Access journals are predatory. Check the credibility of any journal you are considering submitting to. For example, you can check if the journal is from a well established academic publisher. However, it can be harder to tell if a journal from a new publisher is credible or not. 

Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado Denver, has compiled lists of "potential, possible, or probable predatory" journals and publishers. 

Important information regarding Beall's blog and lists, which are no longer active. If someone has more questions, please refer them directly to Jeffrey’s professional email (

​If you receive a solicitation to publish in a journal or with a publisher you are not familiar with, please contact your librarian to further investigate the journal.

Questionable Conferences

Questionable conferences can be difficult to identify as they appear legitimate; with websites often listing a venue, submission process and a board of high-standing academics. Questionable conferences are sometimes organised by the companies behind predatory journals, which means conference papers can be published in these affiliated journals.

Read more: For a listing of questionable conferences and how to identify them.


Think Check Submit


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.

Publication Strategy: Useful Sources

Consult the following resources and webpages to assist with your Publication strategy:

Web of Science


Relevant Electronic Resouces listed on Libguides: Scan the relevant databases and indexed journal titles in your research area.

Journal Citation Reports: Provides annual rankings of Clarivate Analytics journals (Science: 8400+; Social Science: 3000+) by various measures, including Impact Factor.

Scopus: The Scopus Journal Analyzer provides a view of journal performance, enriched with two journal metrics - SJR (SCImago Journal Rank) and SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper).

Essential Science Indicators: Determine the most influential individuals, institutions, papers, and publications.

Journal Finder: From Elsevier. Includes open access options and provides information about publication speeds and impact factors.

Google Scholar Metrics: Google Scholar Metrics provide an easy way for authors to quickly gauge the visibility and influence of recent articles in scholarly publications. Scholar Metrics summarize recent citations to many publications, to help authors as they consider where to publish their new research.

Open Access: The Sherpa RoMEO site offers information about publishers' policies with respect to self-archiving pre-print and post-print research papers.

**For more information on Open Access and the University's policy consult the Open Access Publishing @ Wits LibGuide.

For more information on author rights, also see University of Maryland's Author Rights libguide.

Proofreading, editing and copywriting.

Article Processing Charges: Support

The Research Office and the Library  have created a fund to support the payment of Article Processing Charge (APC) to make your research output immediately available in accredited Gold Open Access journals. 


Gold Open Access: Gold Open Access journals provide immediate free and full open access to all of its articles on the publisher’s website.

Article Processing Charge (APC): The fee that some publishers of Open Access journals charge to publish articles. The reason given by publishers for charging APCs is that they do so in order to cover the costs of publishing material.

Hybrid journals: Hybrid journals provide open access to specific articles where an Article Processing Charge (APC) has been paid in an otherwise closed subscription journal.

Embargo period: When an author decides to deposit their research outputs in an Open Access repository they need to comply with any embargo period a publisher might have in place. In practice this means that the author submits the research article to the Wits Institutional Repository but only the metadata will be made openly accessible during the embargo period. Once the embargo period expires, the full-text article is released to the open web. Embargo periods vary between a few months up to 36 months.


APC Fund for OA publications

Open Access Publishing

The term open access (OA) describes the nature of access, rather than a specific business model, license or type of content.

The primary difference between traditional publishing and open access is that, in the OA model, the bills are not paid by readers or institution and do not function as access barriers.

The OA philosophy supports the goal of providing unrestricted access to data or published materials. The key objectives of the OA movement have significant benefits to researchers, listed below.

Maximizes dissemination 

Open access to material:

  • Removes cost barriers to broaden access.
  • Enables access for anyone with an internet connection.
  • Supports the philosophy of public access to publicly funded research.
  • Assists researchers in developing countries.  ​

Increases exposure and visibility

Material that is open access:

  • Will be more readily discoverable and retrievable.
  • May attract higher number of citations and greater impact.
  • Provides the opportunity for earlier access to material e.g. pre-prints

Enhances scholarly communication

Open access allows for:

  • Quicker dissemination to speed up the research process.
  • Increased awareness of current research to avoid duplication.
  • Enhanced collaboration through OA resource networks.
  • Archiving of material through hosting on secure networks.

Important: Authors should be able to choose the best publication venue for their research, whether open access or not. In addition to this decision researchers are encouraged to upload the pre-print, post-print or publishers PDF article in the Wits institutional repository, WIReDSpace.

For details on the publishers copyright and self-archiving policies consult Sherpa/Romeo.

Publication Strategy: Criteria