Predatory Publishing

 Predatory publishing is the dubious business practices of publishers, journals or events that charge money (APCs, subscription fees) for services they do not provide or provide only in poor quality. Examples are, for example, missing editorial processes, layout, marketing or no quality control through selection mechanisms (peer review). However, a journal is not fundamentally "predatory" because it is open access or because the quality of the articles is poor.


How to recognize predatory publishers

The mentioned features are only a selection and this list does not claim to be complete.

  • Aggressive and offensive advertising behavior via e-mail
  • Unrealistic information or promises regarding the timing of the Peer Review
  • Imitation of the design or similarity of names to renowned scientific journals
  • Many typos and misprints in the e-mail and on the homepage
  • Advertising with a false impact factor
  • Advertising with renowned scientists on the Editorial Board who have never been asked to work with this journal
How can you check the reliability of a journal?

In order to assess the reliability of a journal, it can be checked whether the journal can be found in a subject database (e.g. Web of Science) or in a library catalogue. In the case of an Open Access journal, the reference can also be found in the Directory of Open Access Journals.
Further criteria are provided by the University Library of Maastricht.

  1. Is the journal's ISSN correct?
  2. Is the journal evaluated in known databases?
  3. Is the publisher a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) or the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)?
  4. Is the journal evaluated in the "Journal Citation Reports" or in other established metrics? It should also be noted in this context that journals can only receive a "Journal Impact Factor" in the third year after publication.
  5. What is the status of the editor? Does the editor appear in several journals that do not belong together etc.?
  6. Is the provider's internet presence/platform consistent (or does it contain errors, standard phrases, etc.)?
  7. Are there unrealistic statements or promises regarding the timing of the peer review? Very short deadlines indicate that the peer review is inadequate or does not take place at all.
  8. Are the contractual agreements serious? When publishing in OA journals, authors should retain their right of use, pay article fees only after their publication has been accepted or published, and find clear information on the costs (APC's) on the website.
Fake conferences

In addition to fake journals and predatory publishers, there are also other phenomena such as so-called fake conferences or the Predatory Conferences. Characteristics of these conferences can be, among others, the following:

  • The organizers are individuals or companies instead of universities or scientific societies.
  • The contact details are not official e-mail addresses of universities/scientific societies but of private providers e.g. Gmail
  • Unusually high registration fees
  • Conference takes place only virtual despite precendent announcement
  • Website advertises with nice conference venue, but with little information about the program
  • Deadlines for Call for Paper, submission and programme announcement are far too short

If you have any questions on the subject of predatory publishers or if you are unsure whether a journal you do not know meets the scientific standards or if you have general questions on Open Access, please feel free to contact us.

Further information

Checklist der Universitätsbibliothek Graz (german)
Campaign Think.Check.Submit
Campaign Think.Check.Attend

This website uses cookies. There are two types of cookies: The first type supports the basic functionality of our website. The second allows us to improve our content for you by saving and analyzing pseudonymised user data. Since this second type is technically not required to run the website, you can withdraw your consent to those cookies at any time. For more information please visit our pages on data protection.

Mandatory

These cookies are needed for a smooth operation of our website.

Statistic

For statistical reasons, we use the platform Matomo to analyse the user flow with the help of website users‘ pseudonymised data. This allows us to optimize website content.

Name Purpose Lifetime Type Provider
_pk_id Used to store a few details about the user such as the unique visitor ID. 13 months HTML Matomo
_pk_ref Used to store the attribution information, the referrer initially used to visit the website. 6 months HTML Matomo
_pk_ses Short lived cookie used to temporarily store data for the visit. 30 minutes HTML Matomo