Skip to main content
Jefferson

Predatory Publishing

How can authors evaluate the reputation and legitimacy of a journal?

  1. Consult with a librarian or a writing center expert on campus.  The librarians at the Scott Memorial Library can help you determine the legitimacy of a journal/publisher.
  2. Visit the journal's web site.  Examine closely the publisher web site.  Does it look like it was created by a shoddy web design team?  Does it contain grammar mistakes?  Does it provide responsive contact information?
  3. Reach out to journal's editorial board members.  Send emails to members of the editorial board asking about their experience with the journal.  Predatory journals may list editorial board members who don't know their names are associated with the journal or who have been tricked into joining the board and then can't get their names removed.
  4. Aim and goals of journal. Read the scope of the journal.  If it is too broad or if it sounds too good to be true, look again and question.
  5. Read their peer review policy.  What promises are made in the peer review policy?  Is the peer review process unbelievably quick (such as three weeks)? Is the peer review process blinded?
  6. Check to see what "author fees" are being requested.  When are they due?  Predatory publishers may be unclear on author fees.   A red flag is when the journal doesn't list a fee schedule on its website or states it will notify authors of the fee after their manuscript is accepted for publication. Journals that command excessive fees compared to other open access journals raise conflict of interest concerns. 
  7. Research industry associations.  Check the Directory of Open Access Journals and the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association to see if the publishers are members.