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Library Subject Guides

5. Publish & Share: Predatory Publishers

What is 'predatory' publishing

Predatory, or questionable publishing is when publishers request fees from authors to publish in low-value journals.  These journals are designed to exploit researcher's desire to publish, and take fees, potentially without providing any services, such ar peer-review, typesetting, or promotion and marketing through scholarly indexes.   

Avoid questionable publishers through using the tools at Think.  Check.  Submit. or talk to your Subject Librarian, who can investigate journals for you.

Examples of deliberately fake articles published in these journals

How to identify a predatory publisher

  • Journal website is difficult to locate or identify
  • Publisher "About" information is absent on the journal's website 
  • A single editor is listed and editorial board information is absent
  • Publisher direct marketing (spamming) or other advertising is obtrusive
  • Instructions for authors are not available
  • Information on peer review and copyright is absent or unclear on the journal website
  • Journal scope statement is absent or extremely vague
  • No information is provided about the publisher, or the information provided does not clearly indicate a relationship to a mission to disseminate research content
  • Repeat lead authors in the same issue
  • Publisher has a negative reputation


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