I am in the first months of my postdoctoral research, where I work in a highly reputed laboratory.

Recently, I got an invitation to join the editorial board of a newly engaged journal. They invited me because of one paper I published during my PhD, which perfectly fits within the scope of the journal. Now, I am wondering whether I should accept or not. I do not know the criteria, based on which I should take my decision. Any suggestion!

  • 3
    I get plenty of those mails, most of the time, the journal name is rather odd ("Journal of Research"), or doesn't fit to my work. I tend to delete them, thinking they are some kind of scam - similar to those asking to submit a paper within two weeks in order to save the journals reputation.
    – Mark
    Jan 8, 2018 at 10:02
  • 2
    Do you know the editor or anyone else involved? (That's a good sign.) Is their website high quality? (Again, a good sign.)
    – user2768
    Jan 8, 2018 at 11:41
  • 3
    The only relevant question you need to answer is if you know the editor in chief (directly or via your network). If yes and they have a good reputation, I'd suggest to give them a call and give them the opportunity of convincing you to take on this additional work.
    – user9482
    Jan 8, 2018 at 15:27
  • 2
    Such invitations are spam 95% of the time. I suggest you treat the invitation as such until you are convinced otherwise - i.e. by talking to the existing editors, looking up the publisher, etc.
    – Thomas
    Jan 8, 2018 at 18:40
  • 1
    @Bitwise Apparently, there are journals in some fields where editors are actually reviewers. Such journals tend to have a huge editorial board.
    – user9482
    Jan 9, 2018 at 7:23

1 Answer 1


There are two types of "new" journals:

  • A genuinely new journal
  • A predatory/semi-predatory spam journal

Deciding whether to join an editorial board is largely about trying to figure out which category your invitation falls into. The first step is the email itself - is it written in clear, professional language that suggests actual editors? Stop by the journal/publisher's website - does it look legitimate? Check into the publisher's other journals if they have them - do they look like actual journals, or junk journals?

The next step is looking at the existing editorial board/editors-in-chief. Are these people you recognize in your field, and would make sense as the people to be on board? Are many of the "big names" in your field conspicuously missing?

The final step, if it passes these checks, is to actually email the editor-in-chief to talk about the journal. This serves two purposes:

  • It's possible for a scam journal to list someone as an editor without them knowing - contacting them directly should confirm they are indeed the editor.
  • It lets you talk about the journal's goals, the expected workload, etc. to make an informed choice about whether or not you have time.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .