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Research Guides

Avoid Publishing Scams

Do You Have Concerns About a Journal?

Do not submit an article, sign a contract, or send a payment if you have concerns about a journal or publisher.

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Hillary Miller
Contact:
hmiller5@vcu.edu
Cabell Library, 121-C
(804) 827-0462

Concerned About Publishing Scams?

Visualization of common questions asked about predatory journals

What are Publishing Scams?

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:

  • Making false claims about their services, quality, or identity. This could include false claims about peer review, metrics like the impact factor, inclusion in quality indexes, and editorial board members whose names are listed without their knowledge. Predatory publishers may also use journal names that are the same or slightly different from legitimate journals.
  • Engaging in deceptive and unethical business practices. This could include the journal asking for additional, hidden fees after “accepting” an article for publication.
  • Sending spam emails asking researchers to publish, attend a conference, or serve on an editorial board. These emails may appear legitimate, so all email invitations should be carefully assessed.

Impacts of Predatory Publishing

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

Before You Publish: Think. Check. Submit.

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