Beware the predatory publishers

Taking a stand against predatory publishers

As ‘Open Access’ has become an integral part of scholarly communication there have been a number of new entrants to the scholarly publishing market who have been deemed ‘predatory’. It is likely that researchers will have received e-mails from these predators offering to publish your research in their journals through ‘article processing charges’. Their aim is not to disseminate research but to make money from researchers. What complicates this even more is that the publishers’ websites appear professional – until you start digging around that is. Other characteristics include the following:

  • Accepting articles quickly with little or no peer review or quality control, including hoax and nonsensical papers.
  • Notifying academics of article fees only after papers are accepted
  • Aggressively campaigning for academics to submit articles or serve on editorial boards.
  • Listing academics as members of editorial boards without their permission, and not allowing academics to resign from editorial boards.
  • Appointing fake academics to editorial boards.
  • Mimicking the name or web site style of more established journals. Source Wikipedia

The webcast below by Jeanette Hatherill, M.I.S Scholarly Communication Librarian, University of Ottawa is designed to inform you about the risky world of online publishing and how to identify journals that may take your money at the cost of your credibility.

Pitfalls of Academic Publishing What You Need to Know About Choosing a Journal

Ultimately they should be avoided since they do not fulfil the requirements for open access and publishing with them will not meet any funder’s open access requirements. If you are at all concerned about a particular publisher there is a current list of predatory ones: and the criteria by which these publishers were included is also available:

We include information about such publishers in the copyright and open access training session we run each term. If you have any concerns about other publishers or journals that you may be thinking about publishing with please contact the Research Online team in the Library at

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