Beware of Predatory Publishers

What are predatory publishers?

Predatory publishers attempt to scam authors into paying to have their work published and do not have a peer review or editorial board process to check the authority of the work.

Predatory publishers also tend to:

  • Have very similar or familiar sounding titles – typically they only differ by one or two words from a legitimate and reputable journal title
  • Published in an online-only format* (Note: not all open-access or online-only journals are predatory)
  • Prey on vulnerable populations (graduate students desperate to be published and/or hurried professionals who will soon be up for tenure or promotion)

Two ways predatory publishers make contact:

  • Unsolicited email
  • As part of internet search results

Tips to avoid being tempted or duped into publishing in a bogus journal:

  • Use the library databases and journal access provided by the University Libraries (I.D. Weeks and Wegner Center Libraries)
  • Conduct research using journal’s known in your profession and/or affiliated with a professional organization or society.
  • Still not sure? Librarians are happy to help.

To avoid predatory conference organizers, register for conferences and housing directly through a professional organization’s website, rather than emailed links.



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