Scholarly Communication

Identifying & Avoiding Predatory Publishers

Predatory publishers fraudulently use open publishing models to make money on article submissions without providing the rigorous editorial service essential to academic publishing.

Find more information about Identifying and Avoiding Predatory Publishers in Research sans Frontières – Predatory Publishing slides.

If you receive unsolicited emails from suspicious publishers or conference organizers, signs of predatory or fraudulent publishers include:

  • The journal title or publisher name is non-specific. (e.g. International Journals for Researchers, World Science Publisher)
  • The website is poorly designed, using generic stock photos, clip-art style graphics, and containing spelling/grammar errors.
  • The publisher‘s journals are inaccessible, non-functional, or only provide a few published articles.
  • The publisher has no functional telephone number or postal address, or the address is residential when you search it on Google Maps.
  • The email claims that journals are indexed in databases when they are not. You can verify their claims in the library databases.
  • The use of vendor names (e.g. EBSCO, OCLC) in place of database names (e.g. Medline, SCOPUS) to avoid verification.
  • Article-processing charges are not clearly described and are charged upon submission of work, not upon publication.
  • The peer-review process is not clearly described, and the journal claims unrealistic turnaround times (e.g. 1 week).
  • The editorial board contains the names of individuals who cannot be verified as working at the institutions listed with their names.

You can download a copy of our Predatory Publisher Information Sheet.

Information excerpted from:

Council of Science Editors. (2018). Predatory or deceptive publishers – Recommendations for caution. Retrieved from

Read more:

Beall, J. (2016). Best practices for scholarly authors in the age of predatory journals. Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 98(2), 77-9. Retrieved from

Prater, C. (2018). 8 Ways to Identify a Questionable Open Access Journal. Retrieved from