Research Visibility: Predatory Publishers
Predatory or Deceptive Publishers
Predatory or deceptive publishers are generally for-profit groups that will suggest they publish high quality academic research, while not adhering to generally accepted scholarly publishing best practices.
A group of scholars have recently put forth the following definition:
“Predatory journals and publishers are entities that prioritize self-interest at the expense of scholarship and are characterized by false or misleading information, deviation from best editorial and publication practices, a lack of transparency, and/or the use of aggressive and indiscriminate solicitation practices" (Grudniewicz, Agnes, et al., 2019).
There are some obvious red flags and some that are not so obvious. The aim of this guide is to highlight the things to look for when selecting a journal for publication.
Content on this page adapted from https://onesearch.library.utoronto.ca/sites/default/files/copyright/deceptivejournals_checklist_082018.pdf
Obvious Red Flags
You should exercise extreme caution if any of the following statements are true:
Publication is guaranteed.
You've received an email soliciting work that does not come from a known scholarly organization or someone with whom you have published in the past.
Think. Check. Submit.
Think. Check. Submit. helps researchers identify trusted journals and publishers for their research. Through a range of tools and practical resources, this international, cross-sector initiative aims to educate researchers, promote integrity, and build trust in credible research and publications.
Journals from the Global South
Publishers from low and middle-income countries may not have the resources to have impressive websites and slick processing. Do your research or ask for help.
Common Practices of Predatory Publishers
When considering where to publish, there are many things to keep in mind. This list highlights some of the characteristics of predatory journals
1. The Publishing Process of the Journal
The promise of a short turn around time to publication
An unclear peer review process
A requirement to transfer copyright during submission
An irregular publishing schedule
2. The Financial Details
Article Processing Charges (APCs) prior to acceptance of manuscript
Unclear terms of the APCs
3. The Journal's Website and Contact Information
The journal title is very similar to another well known periodical
The contact information is difficult to locate
The website is of poor quality
Predatory journals sometimes have a poorly defined scope, and/or
The articles in the journal don't match the defined scope
5. Indexing and Metrics
The journal isn't indexed where you might expect to find it
The journal make claims about metrics you don't recognize
The journal is not part of a recognized scholarly organization
7. Editorial Board
The information about the editorial board is difficult to locate
Do the members of the board list the journals on their own websites or CVs?