Skip to main content

Getting Started as a Published Scholar: Predatory Publishers

Resources and strategies to support undergraduate and graduate students as they establish themselves as accomplished scholars by presenting and publishing.

What is a predatory publisher?

Coined by University of Colorado librarian, Jeffrey Beall, predatory publishers are those that exploit authors for monetary gain without regard for the scholarship or accuracy of the research they publish, often misrepresenting themselves as well-established or respected publishers. Up until January of 2017, Beall hosted a blog listing of such publishers which can be access via Internet archive at https://web.archive.org/web/20170112125427/https://scholarlyoa.com/publishers

Journal Impact Factor

Checklist for Assessing Publishers and Journals

Contact your department's Library Liaison for a second (or first) opinion about the authenticity of a publisher or journal. We're happy to help authors identify reliable, quality scholarly publishing venues. 

Use the following checklist, provided by Declan Butler in Nature, as a guide for assessing publishers and journals:
How to perform due diligence before submitting to a journal or publisher.

  • Check that the publisher provides full, verifiable contact information, including address, on the journal site. Be cautious of those that provide only web contact forms.
  • Check that a journal's editorial board lists recognized experts with full affiliations. Contact some of them and ask about their experience with the journal or publisher (use the link to UlrichsWeb above to find publisher contact information).
  • Check that the journal prominently displays its policy for author fees.
  • Be wary of e-mail invitations to submit to journals or to become editorial board members.
  • Read some of the journal's published articles and assess their quality. Contact past authors to ask about their experience. 
  • Check that a journal's peer-review process is clearly described and try to confirm that a claimed impact factor is correct.
  • Find out whether the journal is a member of an industry association that vets its members, such as the Directory of Open Access Journals (www.doaj.org) or the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (www.oaspa.org). [Some questionable journals appear in directories such as DOAJ and Cabell's; we don't advise using this as your sole criteria.]
  • Use common sense, as you would when shopping online: if something looks fishy, proceed with caution.

Articles and other resources on predatory publishers:

In the news...

Loading

Schedule an Appointment with a Subject Specialist

We'd love to collaborate with you! Contact your Outreach Librarian today.