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Predatory Publishing

Signs of Predatory Publishers

Listed below are some common predatory publisher signs

  • Email Invitation to Submit an Article
    • Poor spelling and an abundance of typos
    • Awkward, unprofessional language
    • The email uses excessive praise and flattery to convince you to submit an article.
    • The email came from a generic contact address (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.).
    • Legitimate journals don't usually solicit articles by email.
  • The Journal Name
    •  The journal name is suspiciously similar to a prominent journal in the field.
  • Website
    • Contains numerous spelling and grammar errors 
    • Has an unprofessional, amateurish appearance that includes broken links, low-quality images, and flashy ads 
    • The scope of the journal is either unclear or suspiciously broad.
    • The publisher also publishes multiple journals in a wide array of different disciples.
    • The "About" section is missing or seems incomplete.
    • Contains language that is overly boastful, i.e. claims to be a "leading publisher" 
    • There is insufficient contact information. For example, the journal website doesn't have an email address or physical address, just a web contact form.
  • Editors or the Editorial Board
    • The members of the editorial board aren't listed on the website.
    • If listed, the members of the editorial board are not recognized experts in the field or don't have listed credentials.
    • Sometimes, predatory journals will list famous experts on their editorial board to try and promote a false sense legitimacy to their journal. If this is the case, double-check if the experts actually serve on the editorial board by reviewing their Linkedin or Research Gate profiles. 
  • Metrics and Indexing
    • No verifiable ISSN or DOI 
    • The journal name cannot be located in any legitimate indexing services or databases like Web of Science, PubMed, etc. 
    • The impact factor can't be verified.
  • Peer-Review Process
    • Promises a rapid peer-review process, i.e. a matter of days
    • Does not clearly explain the peer-review process on their website 
  • Author Processing Fees and Charges
    • The policies regarding author fees are either hard to find or are not clearly explained.
    • The fees are not listed.
    • If listed, fees appear suspiciously low in comparison to reputable open access journals.
  • Article Processing
    • Articles are submitted via email instead of through an online submission system.
    • The copyright policies are either unclear or not mentioned at all. 
    • The retraction policies are either unclear or are not mentioned at all.
  • Negative Reputation
    • The journal is listed in Beale's List or in Cabell's Predatory Reports.
    • There are complaints and red flags written in scientific forums when you search the journal's name.