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Predatory Publishers : A Guide

Learn how to evaluate the quality of journal publishers

What are "Predatory" Publishers

"These publishers are predatory because their mission is not to promote, preserve, and make available scholarship; instead, their mission is to exploit the author-pays, Open-Access model for their own profit.” (Beall, 2010)

"Journals exploiting gold open access, providing no or non-sensible peer review, undercutting standard article processing charges, while frequently publishing rubbish" (Beall, 2012)

Beall, J. (2010). “Predatory” open-access scholarly publishers. The Charleston Advisor, 11(4), 10-17.

Beall, J. (2012). Predatory publishers are corrupting open access. Nature489(7415), 179-180.

Types of Predatory Publishers

  • Totally False: illegitimate journals created for profit. Historically even reputably companies like Elsevier have created truly false journals.

  • Pseudo-scholarly: Publications that claim peer review, impact factor, and editing, but do not actually do these things. They may have longevity and hold conferences.

  • Hijacked: Publications that try to deceive by imitating established titles. 

  • Scam: Publications that take your money, but nothing is published.

Ojala, M., Reynolds, R., & Johnson, K. G. (2020). Predatory journal challenges and responses. The Serials Librarian, 78(1-4), 98-103.

What are the Risks?

  • Waste of Money: Often author publishing fees are quite high.
  • Unable to Resubmit: Since your work is published, you can not resubmit to a quality journal. 
  • Work Vanished: It is possible that the journal will never actually publish your work or the journal will disappear, leaving no trace (not archived)
  • Embarrassment: Your name will always be associated to this journal
  • Incorrect Information: Low quality, incorrect, and poorly peer-reviewed information made available to the public
  • Discredit Open-Access: Gives the inaccurate impression that OA journals lack quality control
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