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Predatory publishing


When building a publishing track record, it is important to avoid publishing in journals or through book publishers who engage in unethical practices, such as falsely claiming that your work will be peer reviewed, or displaying fictitious impact factors.

This type of publication will not be regarded as reputable by your colleagues and is unlikely to be easily accessible or cited.

The primary motivation of predatory publishers is profit from the fee you pay for publication. However it should be noted that being asked to pay for Open Access (via an APC) to an accepted article is different to being asked to pay to publish. Many high quality non-predatory journals charge for Open Access publishing.

Read more about predatory publishing:

Major new report

Combatting Predatory Academic Journals and Conferences

Produced by the InterAcademy Partnership, a 'global network of over 140 science, engineering and medical academies', this report is the result of:

  • a two-year study (2020-2021) encompassing a global survey of researchers with 1,872 respondents from 112 countries
  • stakeholder focus groups 
  • a literature review

The report includes a revised definition of predatory journals and conferences emphasising a nuanced approach based on a spectrum of 'predatory behaviours'. Researchers can use the lists of indicators and behaviours to help make decisions about where a particular journal or conference sits on the spectrum which ranges from Fraudulent (High Risk) through Deceptive, Unacceptable low-quality, Low quality, Promising low-quality and Questionable quality to Quality (Low Risk). 

Tools to help you avoid predatory publishers

Phoney versus legit Predatory publishing infographic

This infographic explores some of the key characteristics of predatory and legitimate publication websites. Click below for a version with selectable text: