Predatory publishers

The increasing success of open access journals has also brought suspicious and even fraudulent publishers on the market. The main target of such publishers may be to charge publication fees from researchers. This kind of publishers are often called predatory publishers. However, the term is controversial: some consider that there are no predators, only unprofessional and careless publishing activity. However, the existence of suspicious journals and publishers is undeniable. Their distinctive features may include the following:

  • the journal sends emails to researchers to solicit articles
  • the same publisher has several open access journals but some of them have not published articles at all
  • the publisher’s website does not indicate the amount of article processing charge
  • the publisher gives an unrealistic image of the peer-review process (e.g. its duration)
  • the contact information of editorial staff is not provided
  • the editorial staff of the journal may be imaginary
  • the name or the logo is very similar to a renowned journal in the field
  • the impact factor of the journal may be fake

If you suspect the journal is inappropriate, please see the evaluation checklist. Please also find information on the editor-in-chief and editorial staff of the journal. You may also find colleagues’ discussions about the publication channel by googling.

The following may also be helpful:

Duke University, Medical Center Library & Archives: the Be iNFORMED checklist

Journal Evaluation Tool (LMU Librarian Publications & Presentations)

If you are uncertain, ask for help from the Open Science Centre. More information: information specialist Arto Ikonen