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Predatory Publishing: What is Predatory Publishing?

What is Predatory Publishing?

Have you received an email lately encouraging you to publish with a new, exciting sounding journal?

Before you send your manuscript, take a few minutes to check up on that journal.

Predatory publishers abuse the open access, author-pays model for their own profit. This growing industry is causing problems for academics. This guide is designed to help you navigate the nefarious world of predatory publishing.

Predatory Publishers Explained by U Manitoba Libraries

Characteristics of Predatory Publishers

1. Does the journal charge excessive fees for publication? Excessive fees raise conflict of interest concerns.  Futhermore, all fees associated with publication should be made clear to potential authors, but predatory publishers may hide their fees until after they receive your manuscript.

2. Is the scholarship peer-reviewed? Predatory journals tend to provide little to no peer-review or editorial oversight.

3. Have your colleagues published with the journal? If not, ask around to find out why not.

4. Is the journal included in a reputable index, such as JSTOR, CINAHL, or ScienceDirect?  Predatory publishers usually are not.  They may try to distract or confuse you by listing a fake impact factor or creating false metrics to rank their journal.

5. Does the journal clearly outline its publishing process?  Legitimate journals do make their publishing process readily available.  The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) offers Principles of Transparency and Best Practices in Scholarly Publishing to help academic authors navigate scholarly publishing.

How is Open Access related to Predatory Journals?

Open access is unrestricted access to online peer-reviewed, scholarly journal articles. There are thousands of quality academic journals that are now open access. Open access journals do not charge a subscription fee, instead, they charge a publication fee to the writer(s). Two of the largest indexes to Open Access Journals are:

Predatory journals take advantage of the open access model by claiming to be open access and charging the publication fee but not ensuring any academic rigor or quality. Continue reading to find out how to identify the difference.



Thanks to Scott Memorial Library for permission to adapt and reuse their Predatory Publishing Guide.

Wilson, Jennifer and Dan Kapnis. "Predatory Publishing." Scott Memorial Library. Thomas Jefferson University. 19 Jan. 2017. Accessed 19 April, 2017.