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Open Access: Predatory Journals

What are predatory journals?

Predatory, also known as fake, journals are not legitimate academic journals and do not provide standard editorial practices, such as peer reviews, plagiarism checks, ethical approval reviews, and other publishing services. Predatory journals publish whatever they receive without scrutinizing manuscripts for quality and charge publication fees merely for profits.

Grudniewicz et al. (2019) put forward a definition that “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” (p.211).

Why should I avoid predatory journals?

Publishing in a predatory journal wastes your efforts and potentially damages your reputation. Without academic editorial practices, predatory journals publish and disseminate inaccurate scientific information. Predatory journals are viewed as untrustworthy; therefore, researchers tend to refrain from reading and citing articles published in these journals. Once you publish your articles in predatory journals, you cannot duplicate the submission to other legitimate academic journals. Please mindfully choose a suitable journal for your manuscript submission.


How can I avoid predatory journals?

To evaluate the legitimacy of an open access journal, you may consider the following questions:

  • Is the journal indexed in established databases you conduct literature searches in your subject area?
  • Does the journal provide a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for all articles?
  • Does the journal have an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)?
  • Does the journal clearly state the open access fees and licenses?
  • Is the journal affiliated with a reputable research institute or scientific society?
  • Are the editorial members well-known researchers or affiliated with reputable institutions?
  • Is the publisher well-known in your research field?

Adapted from Quality issues concerning open access journals by Open        

Tools help you avoid predatory journals and publishers

Think. Check. Submit. is an international initiative to help researchers identify legitimate journals and publishers. This journal checklist is designed to assist you in assessing whether a journal is suitable for your work.

Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA) aims to advance OA and promote OA best practices. Members of OASPA have been evaluated and aligned with OA best practices. You may check whether an OA publisher is an OASPA member HERE.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) indexes community-curated OA journals. You can find high-quality, peer-reviewed journals by searching the directory.

BEALL's list suggests the potential predatory journals and publishers.

Journal metrics aims to quantify the research impact of a journal in scholarly publishing. You may check the journal metrics and use them as one of the criteria for evaluating a journal's performance. Please refer to the Library Guides HERE.

What is a predatory journal and why is it a problem?

Think. Check. Submit.

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