How to avoid falling prey to fraudulent Journal Publishers

Fraudulent journal publishers charge authors fees without providing the editorial and publishing services associated with legitimate journals. Open access publishing is the one most targeted by the unscrupulous publishers. The emergence of predatory publishers maybe the reason for the spam mails you may have come across requesting you to publish in a journal or present your research at a conference.

Here are some of the red flags to look out for. Please note that these are just indicators that should be combined with your discretion and critical judgement.

  1. Is it in Beall’s list of potential predatory publishers
  2. Does the journal promise more than it can reasonably deliver? Statements such as “Send your paper and it will be published in a week.” This being an offer from a journal that claims to be peer reviewed is unrealistic. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  3. If the journal claims to be an open access journal, is it listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals? (This is a database of publisher’s policies on self-archiving of journal articles on the web and in Open Access repositories)
  4. Is it listed in Journals Master List?
  5. Is the publisher a member of “Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association”?
  6. When you google the title of the journal, is the first hit the journal website or a blog on why the journal is a fraud?
  7. Has the journal published any other issues? Read the articles and judge for yourself.
  8. Searching in the box marked “search this journal” on the journal webpage for the name of an author of an article in a recent issue of the journal does not return any hits.
  9. Is the publisher transparent about author fees or article processing charges (APC) and the peer review process?
  10. For an invitation to a conference, the web site should have an address or an email contact.
  11. No specific person is identified as the editor of the journal
  12. Beware of unsolicited offers to publish your thesis
  13. Lastly, use common sense, as you would when shopping online: if something looks fishy, proceed with caution!


For more information on evaluating the credibility of a journal click here

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