Predatory Open Access Publishers

Comment Icon0 I regularly receive emails asking about open access journals and whether they should be trusted, if they are peer reviewed, etc.  I am normally a strong advocate for open access publishing because it allows for greater circulation of information and does not support the costly publishing model of traditional publishing.  However, since many open access journals run on small author fees to make their information freely available, it has become a target for predatory publishers.  Instead of providing a high quality resources with a rigorous peer review process, these publishers set up barely credible publishing fronts, send out calls for papers, then require high author fees.   One cataloging librarian has published a list of common predatory publishers that you can refer to if you receive one of these invitations.

Comment Icon0 Here are some other easy tips to help you determine if a publisher is credible:

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  • Look on the publisher site for archived issues, if there is none you should be suspicious.
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  • Look for the journal title in a respected open access repository such as the Directory of Open Access Journals or HighWire Free Journals Online
  • If they claim a rigorous peer review process, look for a description of that process
  • Look for the names of the editorial board staff and try to verify if those people are actually professionals in their field

Comment Icon0 Reference:

Comment Icon0 Beall, Jeffrey. (Dec 1, 2012) Beall’s List of Predatory Open Access Publishers. Metadata. Available from:

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