Do not submit an article, sign a contract, or send a payment if you have concerns about a journal or publisher.
The term “predatory publishing” describes opportunistic entities that exploit researchers by charging fees while providing little or none of their promised services and benefits. Predatory publishers claim to be legitimate open access publishers, but open access is not in itself an indicator that a journal is predatory.
Some of the most common qualities of these publishers include:
“Predatory journals and publishers are entities that prioritize self-interest at the expense of scholarship and are characterized by false or misleading information, deviation from best editorial and publication practices, a lack of transparency, and/or the use of aggressive and indiscriminate solicitation practices.” (Grudniewicz et al., 2019)
Publishing your article in a predatory journal can lead to many negative impacts, including:
Receiving little to no attention for your research
Receiving little to no valuable peer review or editorial input
No long-term preservation of your research, which could disappear at any time
Damages to your reputation or career
Cobey, K. (2017, September 6). Illegitimate journals scam even senior scientists. Nature. Nature Publishing Group. https://doi.org/10.1038/549007a
Moher, D. et al. (2017, September 6). Stop this waste of people, animals and money. Nature. Nature Publishing Group. https://doi.org/10.1038/549023a
Shamseer, L. et al. (2017). Potential predatory and legitimate biomedical journals: Can you tell the difference? A cross-sectional comparison. BMC Medicine, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-017-0785-9
Manda, A. et al. (2017). The surge of predatory open-access in neurosciences and neurology. Neuroscience, 353: 166-173. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2017.04.014