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Predatory Publishing: Home

Many students and faculty aim to publish their research in quality journals, but how do we know if the journal is legitimate? This research guide is a companion to our library workshops on predatory publishing.

Where Did it Begin?

Predatory Publishing was coined by librarian, Jeffrey Beall, who refers to PP as a questionable business practice of charging fees to authors to publish their articles without standard editorial and publishing services (in which they claim they provide) established by legitimate scholarly journals.

To simplify, predatory publishers purposefully mislead authors by promising peer-review services that they do not actually provide. 

Common Types of Predatory Publishing Behaviors

There are many types of behaviors that characterize predatory publishing practices. The following serve only as examples:

  1. Hiding their fee schedules until after the paper has been accepted.
  2. Imitating legitimate journal titles. They often have similar titles to mislead the author into believing they are a well respected publisher.
  3. Using a web address that causes the author to believe they are working with a different journal.
  4. Using a web address that seems legitimate, but the content may be stolen or fraudulent.
  5. Promising services that are not provided. For example, the peer-review process may not be followed or retraction may not be an option.

How to Assess a Journal

This infographic was created by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries. 

Predatory Publishing Trends 2011-2016

Journal Types to Avoid

Predatory publications: "Exploit the author-pays model of open-access publishing (Gold OA) for their own profit. With a false-front or non-existent peer review process, whether subscription-based or ethically-sound open access, these predatory publishers add little value to scholarship, pay little attention to digital preservation, and operate using fly-by-night, unsustainable business models." (Jeffrey Beale)

Hijacked journals: “A legitimate academic journal for which a bogus website has been created by a malicious third party for the purpose of fraudulently offering academics the opportunity to rapidly publish their research online for a fee.” (Butler, 2013a)

Sub-quality: Often mistaken for predatory publishers, they are not purposefully trying to deceive authors; however they can carry characteristics like grammar errors or lacks peer-review/solid publishing model. 

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