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Compass to Publish

Helping researchers to assess the authenticity of Open Access journals

Published onAug 10, 2022
Compass to Publish

Compass to Publish

Compass to Publish is a free online tool developed by the University of Liège Library that helps researchers assess the authenticity of Open Access journals and identify possible predatory journals.

How does it work?

Users answer a series of questions regarding the tested journal’s metadata and procedures. As the test unfolds, the journal's degree of authenticity is displayed dynamically on a quantified scale ranging from -20 (extremely predatory; dark red) to +20 (no suspicion of deceptive behavior or fake character; dark green). The scale comprises 7 shades of color which are meant to indicate the degree of the journal’s potential fake and/or deceptive character . The greener it is, the safer the journal.

Example of the first question with the Compass to Publish test

What’s the methodology?

Compass to Publish uses a transparent criteria-based evaluation. Each question can generate positive or negative points, depending on how you anwser it. The weighing of the criteria varies according to severity and their objective/subjective character.

Why was the tool developed?

The tool is meant to educate researchers about possible predatory journals and how to recognize them, while acknolwedging that there is a whole spectrum of predatory behaviors, hence the scale.

Compass to Publish’s scale also alerts users that the predatory publishing landscape goes beyond a simple binary logic sustained by trusted lists and databases of predatory journals.

In short, Compass to Publish provides a dynamic and DIY alternative to paywalled databases of possible predatory journals. It that can be used in information literacy workshops and more.


Concept and methodology

Cécile Dohogne, Christophe Dony, Thierry Jacques, Rémy Lhoest, Bernard Pochet, Maurane Raskinet, and Paul Thirion.

IT development

Sylvain Danhieux and N-HiTec

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