Comment on:

The following comment refers to this/these guideline(s)

Guideline 15

Publication medium

Authors select the publication medium carefully, with due regard for its quality and visibility in the relevant field of discourse. Researchers who assume the role of editor carefully select where they will carry out this activity. The scientific/academic quality of a contribution does not depend on the medium in which it is published.


In addition to publication in books and journals, authors may also consider academic repositories, data and software repositories, and blogs. A new or unknown publication medium is evaluated to assess its seriousness.

A key criterion to selecting a publication medium is whether it has established guidelines on good research practice.

Minimum standards of quality assurance for research publications

The following checking procedures and quality assurance measures must be ensured by the publishers or the persons responsible at the publication venue:

  1. Procedure for checking the quality and quality assurance of the publication at the methodological level in terms of content (e.g. correctness of citations, data production in the sciences, etc.)
  2. Quality assurance with regard to identification and ensuring the content can be interpreted (e.g. compliance with FAIR principles (Wilkinson et al., 2016), metadata incl. information on funding of research and publication, rights management for access where applicable, CC licensing of content, indication of the peer-reviewed status of a publication)
  3. Check that contributions by all authors/contributors are adequately acknowledged, including a classification of their roles (Holcombe, 2019) according to FAIR principles (Wilkinson et al., 2016)
  4. Facilitation of content evaluation (e.g. expert opinions are obtained before or after publication, e.g. by means of peer review, open peer review or community peer review, or based on post-publication review, in scientific discourse via blogs, further articles, etc.)

Steps 1 to 3 must be ensured prior to initial publication, while step 4 can take place after publication.

For each publication, it must be clear which stage it is at (i.e. version, indication of status with reference to the review process or type of review process, link to other publications of similar content or underlying research data, date of initial publication, etc.).

Meanwhile, a publication venue must fulfil the minimum criteria for guaranteeing aspects 1 to 3 in terms of quality assurance as listed above so that the publications issued there can be cited in proposals, for example. In addition, it is imperative that the publication venue shows all processes associated with the publication in a transparent and correct manner. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) contains the “Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing” – a list of a journal’s criteria that are to be disclosed according to best practice.

The comment belongs to the following categories:

GL15 (General)