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Predatory Publishing

General Advice

When it comes to predatory publishers, the best course of action is to avoid any association. 

  • Keep yourself informed about the behaviors and tactics used by predatory publishers as described in this guide and in similar resources.
  • Keep yourself knowledgable about the primary reputable journals in your field. 
  • Use your common sense. If a publishing opportunity seems to good to be true, it likely is. 
  • If you're ever unsure about a specific journal, please contact your subject librarian to help evaluate it. 

Of course, slick-looking operations and the professional pressure to publish makes avoiding predatory publishers difficult. On this page, you'll find several more suggestions and recommendations to help keep yourself and your work safe. 

Withdrawing a Manuscript from a Predatory Journal

Once an author has signed a copyright transfer or approves the publication of an article in a predatory journal, the chances of having the article removed are slim. This is why we stress the importance of avoiding predatory publishers from the start. However, if your article is already published in a predatory journal, you can consider the following options:

  • Contact the publisher (by email, phone, and certified letter) and request for the article to be removed from the website. Most of the time, authors will not receive a response back from the predatory publisher, even after repeated attempts.
  • If you have NOT signed a copyright agreement with the predatory publisher, your article can still be published in a legitimate journal. If the article is accepted in a reputable publication, contact the editor to explain the situation and seek their guidance. If the paper is accepted in a legitimate journal, it may appear with an editorial note to explain the situation. 

What Can You Do if Your Name is Used Without Permission?

Predatory publishers often list the names of legitimate scholars as editors, board members, or reviewers without knowledge or permission. While you can take action to have your name removed from these lists and websites, many predatory publishers will simply not respond to your repeated requests. The following steps can be taken:

  1. Google yourself often to see if your name has been used without your permission.
  2. Contact the journal/publisher to ask for your name to be removed from all of their materials.
  3. Do not list these positions or publications on your CV or research profiles. Actively make it clear that you are not affiliated with these predatory publishers.

Reminder - Use Your Librarians!

Again, if you are not sure about a particular publisher or journal, it's always best to err on the side of caution and to please reach out to your librarians! We are always willing to help you evaluate a journal's legitimacy. We are also happy to help suggest vetted and reputable alternative journals and publishers. 

Please visit the Contact Us page on the library's website to contact your subject librarian or the library's general reference desk for help.