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Predatory Publishers

An introduction to predatory publisher tactics and strategies for identifying and avoiding predatory publishers

Think, Check, Submit!

                                 Think Check Submit logo with link to its homepage

Think, Check, Submit is perhaps the most efficient guideline for detecting a predatory publisher, and is an invaluable guideline for deciding if, where, and when to publish any scholarly work. The site is available in over 15 languages and is an invaluable asset for every step of academic publishing. 

Phony vs. Legit

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Infographic explaining the differences between phony and legit publishing.

When attempting to discern between phony and legit publishing, be on the lookout for the following warning signs of predatory publishers:

 

  • Little/suspicious contact information
  • Amatuer page design
  • Grammatical errors
  • Broken links
  • List of seemingly arbitrary keywords which can be a poor attempt to boost search engine optimization
  • False metrics or identifiers such as Impact Index, ISJN, or CiteFactor
  • Guarantee of manuscript acceptance and publication or unrealistic turnaround time
  • The list of issues and articles is hard to find, haphazard, or non-existent
  • No statement about ethics or affiliation with industry organizations 
  • The journal website is hosted by an unknown source 

 

All of these qualities point to a phony publishers, which may signal that you need to evaluate the journal further. Legitimate publishers will exhibit the following signs on their website:

 

  • Thorough and accurate contact information
  • Mobile optimization is often a prominent feature
  • The list of issues and articles is complete and easy to find
  • Statement about the journal’s ethics policy
  • Text and navigation are clear, accurate, and helpful
  • Professional page design
  • Industry standard metrics are clearly displayed
  • All the links work
  • The journal website is hosted by a reputable publisher or technology partner that is well known

 

Still having doubts? Check out other articles published by the journal, review submission and peer review guidelines for additional information, or contact authors or editors listed on the site to ask questions. You can also review our step-by-step evaluation checklist or contact us at IUSW@indiana.edu with questions about publishers.

 

Evaluating Scholarly Journals Infographic by Allen Press via FrontMatter (CC BY ND NC 3.0)