Ensure you're submitting to a legitimate journal
Predatory journals exploit the Open Access (OA) model of academic publishing: they exist simply to collect publication fees from authors. Publication in a predatory journal confers no benefit to an author because predatory journals accept any article which is submitted. Don't waste your time, money or reputation by publishing in a predatory journal! Use the resources below to ensure that you're submitting your article to a legitimate Open Access journal.
Do not hesitate to contact your Subject Librarian if you're at all unsure about a particular Open Access title.
There is a lot of information available about OA journals, including both credible and predatory publishers. Neither of the following lists are authoritative or perfect, but can be a good place to start:
- The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) lists titles from credible Open Access publishers.
- Beall’s List of Predatory Publishers lists potential predatory Open Access publishers.
The newly-launched Think.Share.Submit site offers an excellent checklist designed to help you avoid predatory publishers. Here are a few additional questions to consider:
- Did the journal contact you first?
- Predatory journals send mass emails to potential authors.
- Is this the journal it claims to be?
- Even if the title seems familiar, beware of copycat journals - predatory journals with titles that are very similar to high quality journals, like this example.
- Does the journal request you send money to publish your article?
- This is not an uncommon practice for legitimate, high quality OA journals that will be included in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
- What is the timeline for editing and peer review? Are you asked to supply contact information for potential reviewers?
- If there is either no peer review process or the process is fast (hours or days), this is a sign of a predatory journal. Another warning sign is being asked to copy edit or develop the layout of your article.
- Review the journal's website for clues as to the quality of the journal.
- Are contact emails personal addresses? Is the grammar and spelling correct? Is there a long and consistent list of archived journal issues/volumes, or has the journal been published irregularly?