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Research Guides

Issues in Scholarly Communication

Predatory Publishing Defined

Predatory Publishers are:

Publishers using the gold open access model (where the journal itself is not funded by an institution through subscriptions, but rather by the authors who publish their works in that journal) to receive payments from authors while neglecting to undergo a true peer-review process.

"These [predatory publishers] are OA [Open Access] journals that exist for the sole purpose of profit, not the dissemination of high-quality research findings and furtherance of knowledge. These predators generate profits by charging author fees, also known as article processing charges (APCs), that far exceed the cost of running their low-quality, fly-by-night operations." - Berger and Cirasella, page 132.

What to Look for

phony vs. legit publishers

Image taken from Stony Brook University Libraries, Scholarly Communication:

Beware of:

  • Promises of quick publication (you all know there is no such thing as a "fast" peer-review process!)
  • Soliciting emails asking for your research, especially if they are not from a field in which you work
  • Lists of editors with little information on them/the same editors on every journal published by a particular company/editors with email addresses from Gmail, Yahoo, etc.
  • Submission fees
  • Bizarrely broad or disjointed scopes

Alternatives to Beall's Blacklist:

Examples of Predatory Publisher Websites