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How does Duotrope keep its listings up to date?

A tidy white desk with a yellow mug, pen cup, and desktop computer
Fueled by tea (or coffee) and dedication, we Duotroopers strive to keep our listings insanely accurate. (Photo by Georgie Cobbs.)

The world of publishing is constantly in flux. Publications open and close, change their policies, and sometimes vanish without notice. As a writer or artist, it can seem impossible to keep up. At Duotrope, we go above and beyond to keep our listings as accurate as humanly possible. Instead of relying solely on reports from editors and others, we are proactive about keeping our listings up to date.

These are all the things we do to achieve that goal:

Monthly Checks of Submission Guidelines

We check each active listing's guidelines page for changes on average once a month.* We developed an automated system to streamline this process, but every guidelines page that is flagged as "changed" by the system is hand-checked by someone on our staff, and the listing will be updated if needed.

* Listings (except for scholarly journals) that are fully compliant with our recommendations for guidelines pages are checked once every four weeks (alternating the page we check if they have submission information on multiple pages). Listings that don't follow those recommendations may be checked every eight weeks. Most listings (98.7%) get checked every 28 days. Scholarly journals, since they change so infrequently, are checked twice a year.

Biannual Audits

Our staff runs a full audit on each active listing twice a year.* We check that our listing is accurate and that the project meets our "signs of life" and qualification standards, and we make any necessary updates, including the cover image, if a new one is available. (* Exception: We run audits on strictly scholarly journals once a year.)

Status and Qualification Checks

During the audit process (and when issues come to our attention), we check whether:

  • Their official website is up to date;
  • Their submission guidelines are easy to find, complete, and current;
  • They have published recently, keeping to their stated publication schedule within reason (does not apply to agent listings);
  • In short, that they continue to meet our criteria for publisher listings or criteria for agent listings.

If a listing doesn't appear to meet our criteria, then we contact the editor/agent about any issues we may have. We give them a full month to respond and to make any needed changes. If, at the end of that month, they still don't meet our criteria, we deactivate the listing and set its status to "does not qualify" or "believed defunct." In most cases, the deactivated listing can be reinstated in the future when it meets all our criteria.

Status and Date Checks: You can check the dates for the last guidelines check and last audit on each active listing at the bottom of the page in the "Dates" section. If the listing is currently being reviewed for a qualification issue, you will also see a date listed in orange that indicates when the listing may be deactivated if it still doesn't qualify at that time.

Biannual Reminders

Every six months, we contact the editors/agents of each active listing. This email is a courtesy to encourage them to check our listing and let us know if we need to make any changes. It also provides information on how to participate in our interview.

Corrections from Editors, Agents, Members, and Visitors

We welcome corrections from anyone at any time. There are links on every active listing to a correction form. When we receive corrections, we make every attempt to review them and make any needed changes within one business day. However, please keep in mind that we cannot make changes if the official site contradicts that information.

Have a question? Ask us.