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Scholarly Communication & Publishing: Predatory Publishers

Information concerning Open Access, copyright, predatory publishers, impact factors, altmetrics, author rights, public access policy and data management plans.

Resources for Evaluating Journal Quality

Finding Relevant Journals

The tools below may help to ensure that your research falls within the scope of the journal. Consider the audience for any journal. 

Predatory Conferences

What are Predatory Publishers?

Tips for Verifying Legitimate Journals

Predatory Publishing

The ever increasing amount and availability of Open Access journals along with other changes in publishing have led to an increase in publishers who may not have the author's best interest or maintaining a high quality collection as priorities

To avoid these publishers, many of the same rules for measuring a journal's scholarly worth still apply. Consider the following:

  • Peer Review (How is the peer review process handled?  This should be in writing.) 
  • Editorial Board (Who are they?) 
  • Reputation (Do you know anyone who has published in this journal?)

It is now more important than ever to understand how to measure journal quality and warning signs of predatory publishers. 

A journal may be predatory if: 

  • You or your colleagues have never heard of the journal before 
  • You can not easily identity or contact the publisher 
  • The peer review process is not clear 
  • You cannot identify the editorial board Hint: cross check the editors' names with their official bios on their institutions' web pages 
  • You were invited to publish in the journal via email and the sender is not known to you, or the email address is not easily determined (See "Common Features in Solicitation Emails from Predatory Publishers") -- in the right hand column of this page.


Hijacked Journals

Hijacked journals mimic legitimate journals by adopting their titles, ISSNs, and other metadata. Usually, hijacked journals mirror legitimate journals without permission from the original journal. In rare instances, publishers will buy rights to a legitimate journal but continue the publication under considerably less stringent publishing protocols and without clearly noting to the reader the change in ownership or publication standards. Hijacked journals are sometimes known as “cloned” journals.

Common Features in Solicitation Emails from Predatory Publishers

  • Awkward language
  • Copycat syndrome
  • False information
  • Flattering
  • Language is boastful
  • Missing standards: ISSN, DOI, IF
  • New business
  • Overly polite, but clumsy
  • Persuasive
  • Promises
  • Urgency
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