More Information

From University of Manitoba Libraries (1:18)

Predatory journals and publishers

This guide may assists you in recognizing and avoiding questionable publishers and journals (commonly called "predatory publishers). Ultimately it is up to each author to make the final decision on where to publish and to decide what they expect from their publishers.

What Is Predatory Publishing?

The open access movement has brought about great opportunities to share scientific research more broadly, but also gave rise to unethical publishing companies who wish to profit from scientific research and exploit researchers' desire to publish their materials. By carefully and critically evaluating the journals you wish to publish in you can avoid falling victim to predatory publishing.
Predatory publishing is not only limited to journals; more and more questionable conferences are cropping up as well.

What's The Harm?

Predatory publishers deceive authors by claiming to be a full-service publisher. Remember, as an author you are providing a valuable product and legitimate publishers provide valuable services to protect your work. Some of the dangers of publishing with a predatory publisher are outlined below:
Poor quality assurance
Peer review procedures are a central instrument of content quality assurance. High-quality peer review is a time-consuming process for both the reviewer and the author. Problematic are those journals that promise a high-quality peer review, but then do not implement it.
Low visibility and findability of the articles
Publishers of fake journals often claim that the journals are indexed in databases such as Scopus or Web of Science. However, this is not the case, which makes the content less visible and discoverable. 
Non-guaranteed long-term availability of the publication
Reputable publishers make sure that the articles they publish can be permanently found and accessed. A predatory publisher does not attach much importance to this.
Risk to the scientific career and reputation
No longer verifiable publications can be a hindrance to a desired scientific career. And if the own list of publications contains papers published in a predatory journal, this may affect the scientific reputation of the author. Although the article is of high quality, it is believed that it has qualitative deficiencies and has not been accepted in reputable journals.

Tools And Resources

The following sites can be used to further investigate the legitimacy of journals.

  • Think, Check, Submit!
    This great tool includes questions to think about, criteria to look at, checking with colleagues and other criteria, to finally submit your work.
  • Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing
    Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association's Committee on Publication Ethics has developed this document compiling the best practices in publication ethics.
    The Directory of Open Access Journals is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals. DOAJ is independent. All data is freely available.
  • Ulrich's Web
    An easy-to-search source of detailed information on more than 300,000 periodicals (also called serials) of all types: academic and scholarly journals, e-journals, peer-reviewed titles, popular magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and more. Ulrichsweb covers more than 900 subject areas.
  • Beall's List of Predatory Journals and Publishers
    Jeffrey Beall, a librarian coined the term "predatory publishers". The site contains the archived list of publishers and journals, as well as other tips and advice on how to investigate journals and publishers and what to think about before publishing your work.
  • What are ‘predatory’ conferences and how can I avoid them?
    Article by AuthorAID Team | Feb. 6, 2017
loading content
Go to Editor View