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Avoid Publishing Scams

What Do You Do If...?

If you find yourself entangled in a publishing scam, you can contact Hillary Miller at for help. In some cases, you may also want to consider contacting VCU's University Counsel for legal help.

What to do if:

  • Your article has been accepted for publication, and the publisher is now asking for a publishing fee that you were not previously made aware of. Take a closer look at the journal--you may find that it is not a legitimate journal. If so, do not pay the fee and inform the publisher that you are withdrawing your article. If you have not yet signed a publishing agreement, the publisher is not authorized to publish your article. If they publish your article anyway, ask the publisher to remove your article from their website.
  • You published in a journal that you did not realize was illegitimate and you want the publisher to remove your article. If you signed a publishing agreement, you will need to review it to see what rights you may have transferred to the publisher. If you did not sign an agreement, ask the publisher to remove your article from their website.
  • Your name appears as a board member or editor of an illegitimate journal without your consent. Ask the publisher to remove your name. Take steps to make it clear to other that you are not associated with the publisher, even by contacting other board members, editors, or authors listed on their website.