Skip to main content

Information for Faculty Authors: Predatory Journals

A Note about Predatory Publishers

This page is not about "calling out" specific publishers or denouncing anyone or anything specific.  Our goal is to inform and educate our faculty here at CSULB about the practice of predatory publishers and to supply criteria in order to facilitate critical analysis for their own publishing agendas.

Unfortunately the rise of open access has also given rise to "predatory publishers" who prey on researcher's career driven need to publish with various tactics. 

Buyer beware: A checklist to identify reputable publishers

The following list, authored by Declan Butler and originally published in the journal Nature (27 March 2013), is used with the permission of the copyright holder.

How to perform due diligence before submitting to a journal or publisher.

  • Check that the publisher provides full, verifiable contact information, including address, on the journal site. Be cautious of those that provide only web contact forms.

  • Check that a journal's editorial board lists recognized experts with full affiliations. Contact some of them and ask about their experience with the journal or publisher.

  • Check that the journal prominently displays its policy for author fees.

  • Be wary of e-mail invitations to submit to journals or to become editorial board members.

  • Read some of the journal's published articles and assess their quality. Contact past authors to ask about their experience.

  • Check that a journal's peer-review process is clearly described and try to confirm that a claimed impact factor is correct.

  • Find out whether the journal is a member of an industry association that vets its members, such as the Directory of Open Access Journals (www.doaj.org) or the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (www.oaspa.org).

  • Use common sense, as you would when shopping online: if something looks fishy, proceed with caution.

Challenges & Opportunities on Open Access

This article from Science "Who's Afraid of Peer Review," (see citation and link to Science below) presents an actual study that repots on the positive and negative sides to Open Access publishing.

Citation:
Science
Vol. 342 no. 6154 pp. 60-65 
DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6154.60

Link to Science

Criteria

Three sets of criteria are listed here to help you evaluate a journal for publication opportunities.  All expressly note they are the opinion of the individual authors, but all take a sound and common sense approach to evaluating publication opportunities.

Bealls List of Predatory Journals

Review Beall's list of "Potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers" and look at his criteria for adding journals to the list.