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Predatory journals

Many open journals cover their costs by charging a publishing fee. Some people exploit this by establishing false Open Access journals, Predatory journals. Many of these contact researchers with publishing offers. Usually a few simple checks will reveal if a journal is legitimate or not.

Characteristics of predatory journals

  • The publisher has many journals, but the content of each journal is slim, and few of the articles are published.
  • It is often unclear, or difficult, to find out where the offices of the publisher are.
  • Information about the members of the editorial board is lacking, one person can be the editor of many titles. In some cases the names of fictitious authors are used, or the names of known researchers are used without their consent.
  • The business model is based on an Article Processing Charge, but it is difficult to confirm what the current prices are before a manuscript has been submitted.
  • The processes for peer reviews are questionable. For example, a journal might market itself for very short periods before publishing, which means that good processes for peer reviews are not in place.
  • The journal's website looks unprofessional, the language is poor and several links do not work.
  • Unknown varieties of the "impact factor" and other measurements of impact from less credible sources are highlighted.
  • The journal's DOI on the front page does not work.

How to avoid being scammed?

  • Check with colleagues
  • Do a google search for the title of the journal plus the term "predatory". Other people often write about their experiences with the journal.
  • Search for the journal in DBHs publication channels. The journals listed have been quality assured by an academic committee.
  • Search for the journal in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The journals listed have been quality assured by members of the DOAJ editorial board.
  • See also the website Think. Check. Submit. for more comprehensive information.

Any questions?

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Published Oct. 15, 2015 2:32 PM - Last modified Feb. 8, 2017 1:55 PM