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Identifying Predatory Publishers
Identifying predatory journals can be challenging and there's no one indicator that you can rely upon to identify them. Ultimately, you must make a decision about whether the journal seems legitimate. An MCW Librarian can help give you an additional perspective if you have difficulty deciding.
Find the Right Journal/Conference
Look for these signs when you are assessing whether a journal is suspicious
- Sounds very similar to a reputable publication
- Content of the articles in the journal doesn't seem to match the title of the journal or its stated scope
- Contains words that make the publication seem prestigious (global, international, universal), but don't seem to match with their editorial board members' locations
- Exact fees are not openly disclosed or easy to locate
- Journal may require a submission fee, payable whether the article is accepted or not
- The article processing fees are low; many legitimate open access publishers charge fees, but very low fees are a warning sign
- Editors are not familiar to you or do not appear to be people who actually work in that field
- Contact information for editorial board is not easy to find
- The editorial board is too small or is not yet established
- Contains a lot of misspellings and errors
- Looks unprofessional
- Contains a lot of flashy ads and loud colors
- Rapid peer review and publication is promised. It seems too good to be true.
- No clear peer review policies are stated
- Journal has no retraction policy
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