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Predatory Publishing

What is Predatory Publishing?

Received an email lately encouraging you to publish with a new exciting sounding journal?

Before you send your manuscript, take a few minutes to check up on that journal.

Predatory publishers abuse the open access author-pays model for their own profit. This growing industry is causing problems for academics. This guide is designed to help you navigate the nefarious world of predatory publishing.

Characteristics of Predatory Publishers

1. Does the journal charge excessive fees for publication? Excessive fees raise conflict of interest concerns.  Futhermore, all fees or charges associated with publication should be made clear to potential authors, but predatory publishers may hide their fees or charges until after they receive your manuscript.

2. Is the scholarship peer-reviewed? Predatory journals tend to provide little to no peer review or editorial oversight.

3. Have your colleagues published with the journal? If not, ask around to find out why not.

4. Is the journal included in a reputable index, such as MEDLINE, CINAHL, or psycINFO?  Predatory publishers usually are not.  They may try to distract or confuse you by listing a fake impact factor or creating false metrics to rank their journal.

5. Does the journal clearly outline its publishing process?  Legitimate journals do make their publishing process readily available.  The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association offers Principles of Transparency and Best Practices in Scholarly Publishing to help academic authors navigate scholarly publishing.