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Publish Your Research: Predatory Publishers

Tips on how to get your work published in a variety of formats.

The Predatory Industry

Predatory publishing and journals can be defined as imposter open access journals that exploit the author pays open access model for their own profit.

You may also hear the term predatory conferences which refers to conferences which do not provide editorial control over the presentations and advertising of the conference may include claims of involvement of people who are not involved.

Common traits 

  • No actual peer review 
  • Use of spam email to solicit manuscripts 
  • Promise fast (TOO fast) peer review 
  • Fake credentials (association memberships, fake impact factors, fake or undisclosed locations, fake editorial board)

Background Info

Checking for Authenticity

Do you or your colleagues, professors, or instructors know the journal? 

  • Have you read any articles in the journal before? 
  • Is it easy to discover the latest papers in the journal? 

Can you easily identify and contact the publisher? 

  • Is the publisher name clearly displayed on the journal website? 
  • Can you contact the publisher by telephone, email, and mail? 

Is the journal clear about the type of peer review it uses? 

Is the journal indexed in databases that you use? 

  • Use the database Ulrichsweb to see where the journal is indexed. 

Is it clear what fees will be charged if any? 

  • Does the journal website explain what these fees are for and when they will be charged? 

Do the editorial board members mention the journal on their own websites? 

Is the publisher a member of a recognized industry initiative? 

  • If the journal is open access, is it listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)? 
  • Is the publisher a member of a trade association?

Emails from Predatory Journals

You may receive an email at some point from a journal telling you they will publish your research for a “small” fee. Be careful! Many of these emails are not legitimate and are fake journals that will publish anything for free. People have paid these fake journals and have been unable to retract or publish their article in real journals later due to copyright.