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Beware: Predatory journals

Predatory Journals 

Predatory journals have been described as being fraudulent journals which exploit the open-access model in which they aim to  make a profit by convincing authors to pay an article processing charge.  Predatory publishers will publish research for a fee without providing peer- review or other editorial services.  This allows for inaccurate information to enter the body of research and hinders scientific progress.

Common features of predatory journals

  • No peer review process
  • Unrealistic timeline for publication e.g. less than 24 hours (no time allowed for robust peer review/editorial service)
  • Publishes articles with spelling/grammatical errors
  • No plagiarism screening or copyediting
  • Publishes articles of low quality or not within the scope of the journal
  • Lacks transparency about the APC with some publishers only mentioning the APC when article is accepted
  • Targets authors via aggressive solicitation emails that may contain spelling/grammar mistakes
  • Require authors to sign away copyright at the submission stage, preventing them from withdrawing and publishing elsewhere
  • Publishes articles before authors have signed agreements
  • Articles sometimes published on unstable websites
  • Claims citation metrics and impact factor that cannot be verified
  • Sometimes mimics names of legitimate journals.

Cook, F. et al. (2023) 'Greetings from your predatory journals! What they are, why they are a problem, how to spot and avoid them', British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery,  DOI: 10.1016/j.bjoms.2023.02.005

Predatory Journals

Predatory Journals is an organisation made up of volunteer researchers who have been harmed by predatory publishers and want to help researchers identify trusted journals and publishers for their research. 

They gather and publish publicly available information to support authors' decisions on whether or not to publish scientific articles in journals that exhibit questionable and predatory practices.

The Predatory Lists aims to educate researchers and students, promote integrity, and build trust in scientific research and publications.

Hijacked Journal Checker

Hijacked journals (sometimes known as 'cloned' journals) mimic legitimate journals by adopting their titles, ISSNs and other metadata without permission from the legitimate journal.  They can be very hard to spot and researchers can be duped into publishing in them.

The website below has more information and links to a list of hijacked journals:

Think Check Submit

Use the Think, Check, Submit guide to help you avoid falling into the predatory publishing trap.

Think, Check Submit