A few years ago, the Frontiers family was listed in Beall’s List of potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers. At the time, there was a lot of backlash by them and a number of publishers about this addition. Since then, Beall's List has been taken down.

Recently, I received an invitation to contribute in one of Fronters in Chemistry's research topics - the journal currently has a decent JIF of 3.994. I was wondering what the community currently thinks of this journal family?

I am used to receiving spam invitations but this is the first where I have received one where I feel it is more legit, however, I would not want this to damage my record if there is a bad reputation. I am an early career researcher so this makes me more tempted.

A similar question was asked back in 2014 with some negative responses, but I would like to see how the times have changed: An invitation from Frontiers (Frontiers Research Topics)

  • So, what is your question : how to deal with spam email? Or has Beal’s list been replaced? Or do others think a Jif of 3.984 is good / relevant or other?
    – Solar Mike
    May 10, 2018 at 11:54
  • What is the reputation of the Frontiers family in the academic community.
    – Cloud Chem
    May 10, 2018 at 11:59
  • Have a look at (a) who is publishing in Frontiers and (b) who is organizing/publishing in their "research topics".
    – Mark
    May 10, 2018 at 12:02
  • 1
    I think you should draw your own conclusions. All the facts are available (see the Wikipedia page on Frontiers and the sources cited), what's left is for you to decide whether Frontiers is legitimate.
    – Allure
    May 10, 2018 at 21:45
  • 2
    I don't have a problem with the version in my field, and generally I think people have been overly-critical of them. (I don't see "for-profit" as a dirty word, when did that become a problem?) However I also think their solid impact factor doesn't reflect the rather low value of their papers. It seems like people publish stuff that barely works there and isn't suited for a good journal. May 10, 2018 at 22:54

1 Answer 1


In my opinion, Frontiers journals are only modestly predatory. They are clearly for-profit, and seem to have a journal for every sub topic, not to mention the constant invitations for submission and ‘special issue’. However, they’ve done a pretty good job maintaining reputation, though it certainly differs per-journal. An impact factor of ~3 isn’t that far outside middle-tier, non-profit, established journals. If it helps, I have a publication in the top-tier journal Neuron in 2012 with 156 citations and a pub in Frontiers in 2014 with 120 citations. So worry less about it being ‘frontiers’ and worry more about writing a solid work.

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