Texas Tech University

Publishing Safelists, Watchlists and Checklists

The NSF STEPP team and the NSF are not affiliated with or responsible for content shared here. The opinions expressed in the links below reflect the site's author(s) or organizations and not the NSF STEPP team or the NSF itself.

Journal Safelists*

Journal safelists are curated lists of scholarly journals or publishers that have met certain criteria, as outlined from the curating institution. The list of journal safelists below provides an example of the variety of sources that are creating safelists as a way of helping scholars determine if journals are legitimate and ethical.


Journal Watchlists*

Journal watchlists are curated lists of scholarly journals or publishers that have been evaluated to be participating in one or more predatory activities by the curator. The list of journal watchlists below provides an example of watchlists that are accessible to scholars wishing to determine if a journal they are interested in publishing in has been flagged as engaging in predatory behaviors.



Scholarly publishing checklists, aimed at giving authors agency in the journal vetting process have become more common. Many university library websites now offer these checklists to help authors identify possibly predatory journals. There have also been several scholarly publications aimed at presenting checklists authors can use to evaluate journals. This list below is far from exhaustive, and instead shows a sampling of the variety of checklists available to authors. 

* In solidarity with other industry leaders to discard the racist symbolism associated with the terms "whitelist" and "blacklist," the STEPP project has adopted new terminology for the curated lists displayed here.