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Open Access Publishing: Predatory Journals

Predatory Journals

A dark side of OA has been the emergence of predatory journals, so-named because these journal publishers "prey" on unsuspecting academics trying to publish. They may engage in a number of dubious, academically illegitimate, or even unethical practices, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Withholding company location and contact information
  • Spamming academics to solicit article submissions
  • Charging exhorbitant author-side fees
  • Duplicating other publications' articles (content piracy)
  • Utilising inadequate or false peer review processes
  • Creating fake editorial panels using the names of actual academics (without their consent or knowledge)
  • Advertising and organising fake conferences

Articles examining the predatory journal issue do not often mention the detrimental effects proliferation of this journal content can have on students' academic development. While academics should avoid these journals for both research and publishing, it is also important to inform students as well.

There are librarians, scholars, and institutions monitoring these "suspect" publishers - ask your liaison librarian for more information.

Predatory Journals at UFV?

Yes, it is true: the UFV Library may have potential predatory journals listed in its Journals list.

This is not by intentional design, and it is important to consider the following:

  1. UFV Library subscribes to thousands and thousands of journals, and the journals list is automated
  2. Database content providers are primarily responsible for identifying disreputable publishers, and mistakes can be made
  3. That a journal publisher is considered predatory - by Jeffrey Beall, for instance - represents an opinion, and there are legalities to consider before acting upon an opinion, however well-informed it may be.

If you have concerns about a particular journal listed in our journal list, please contact us.

Think. Check. Submit.

A website to help researchers identify trusted journals for their research. It is a simple checklist researchers can use to assess the credentials of a journal or publisher.

Buyer beware: A checklist to identify reputable publishers

Declan Butler offers a checklist to identify reputable publishers, which includes the following:

  • Check that the publisher provides full, verifiable contact information, including address, on the journal site. Be cautious of those that provide only web contact forms.
  • Check that a journal's editorial board lists recognized experts with full affiliations. Contact some of them and ask about their experience with the journal or publisher.
  • Check that the journal prominently displays its policy for author fees.
  • Be wary of e-mail invitations to submit to journals or to become editorial board members.
  • Read some of the journal's published articles and assess their quality. Contact past authors to ask about their experience.
  • Check that a journal's peer-review process is clearly described and try to confirm that a claimed impact factor is correct.
  • Find out whether the journal is a member of an industry association that vets its members, such as the Directory of Open Access Journals ( or the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (
  • Use common sense, as you would when shopping online: if something looks fishy, proceed with caution.

Direct excerpt from:

Beall's List Revived

This website is a copy of Beall's list of predatory publishers & journals. It was retrieved from cached copy on 15th January 2017.

History of Beall's List

From 2010 to 2016, librarian Jeffrey Beall (University of Colorado Denver) maintained a list of what he deemed to be "potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers" as a way of publicly warning scholars to avoid associating with such publishers. Beall introduced new additions to his list in a blog entitled Scholarly Open Access: critical analysis of scholarly open-access publishing. He would reassess his list and remove those publishers or journals proved themselves to be reputable.

Beall's blog and website were suddenly removed on January 16, 2017 with no explanation. Beall later commented on the reasons, including this article:

Beall's criteria and last updated list remain useful. Past versions of his website can be accessed using the Internet Archive. Specific links are provided in this article by the website Debunking Denialism:

Beall's List, as it became known, was the de facto authoritative list of open access journal publishers who appear to be engaged in questionable and/or poor quality publishing and business practices. Academics intending to publish in an open access journal would still benefit from reviewing Beall's List and consulting his Criteria for Determining Predatory Open Access Publishers as aids in making informed choices about where to publish.

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