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Predatory Journals and Publishers

A guide to identifying and avoiding predatory publishers.

About This Guide

Read this guide if you are thinking about publishing your research in an academic/scholarly journal.  This guide is aimed at helping you identify and avoid predatory journals and publishers.  The best advice is always to seek help from senior colleagues or the Library before submitting a paper for publication. 

What are predatory journals?

Predatory journals exploit a publishing model where the author pays to publish articles that are usually made freely available on the web.  Predatory journals deceive authors by claiming to provide peer review and editorial services but in fact publishing anything submitted without proper scrutiny.  Predatory journals use a number of strategies to disguise their true nature, however, with a few precautions and checks it is possible to identify and avoid them.

What are the risks in publishing in a predatory journal?

Inadvertently publishing in a predatory journal can be a risk your reputation as a researcher.

  • Loss of credibility - publishing in a predatory journal can damage your credibility and the credibility of your research.
  • Loss of control of your copyright – predatory journals may ask you to sign over the copyright of your article.  Even if this is not the case predatory publishers have no interest in helping to withdraw your article and may use any request as leverage to charge further fees. 
  • Predatory publishers will exploit your profile – predatory publishers will use your reputation to enhance their own. Typically adding your name to lists of editors, even if you haven’t agreed to be one. 
  • Lost opportunity -  you lose the opportunity to publish your research in a credible journal.

Think, Check, Submit

Think Check Submit is a simple checklist to help you make the right choices when you look for journals to publish your research.