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My professor and I have been trying to publish a paper, but it keeps being rejected. A journal emailed my professor asking her to submit the paper to them, but I am not sure it is legitimate.

  • None its papers have DOIs.
  • It is OA, but only one issue is available and it has <5 papers

Are these warning signs?

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Yes, they are warning signs.

  • DOIs are cheap. Not having them is a definite red flag.
  • Being OA with <5 papers means, at least, this is a new journal. Depending on how many years it's been since the first paper was published, it could mean the journal's editorial board is inactive, or the publisher is not giving the journal much attention. If the journal does not go anywhere, or (even worse) if it shuts down, your paper is not likely to be read much.
  • Finally you write that a journal emailed asking your professor to submit the paper to them. This is weird, because the journal is not likely to know your paper's been rejected by some other journal.

This doesn't mean you shouldn't submit to the journal anyway, but be careful.

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