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Predatory Journals

How to Spot Predatory Journals

If you cannot access the above video, you can watch it here

Warning Signs of Predatory Practices


► Suspect journals will aggressively solicit scholars to submit papers.  The solicitation may come as spam or individually flattering emails. Legitimate journals usually do not solicit authors but instead usually have the authors contact them.

► The journal agrees to publish your article for a fee before reviewing it.


Don't let a claim that a journal is peer reviewed sway you. Almost all predatory journals claim to be peer reviewed. 

► The time for peer review is extremely short.

► Predatory journals may ask you whom you would like to review your work.  This practice would not prevent authors from reviewing their own work under a pseudonym or from  having family or friends review their work.

Editorial Board

Members of the editorial board lack qualifications in the field.

Different  journals by the same publisher have the same editorial board.

► Predatory journals will sometimes  solicit well-known scholars to join their boards in order to lend credibility to their journal but don't let them make decisions.

 Listing academics as members of editorial boards without their permission and not allowing academics to resign from editorial boards.


Impact Factors

 Be wary of journals that cite bogus impact factors, such as the GIF ( Global Impact Factor), Index Copernicus Value, Citefactor, or the UIF (Universal Impact Factor). Some may falsify legitimate impact factors.


The journal is not indexed in the major indexes in the field as well as general indexes, even though it might claim to be. Some journals falsely claim to be indexed by Thomson Reuters.

Beall's List

► The journal is listed on Beall's List of Predatory Journals


Other  Factors

The journal is difficult to locate in library catalogs, i.e. few major libraries subscribe to it.

The scope is overly broad and/or does it fit well with your research.

► Publication frequency is irregular or not stated.

May have the same or similar name to a legitimate journal. The former is characteristic of hijacked journals.

The email address is often non-professional (, or  rather than being associated with a journal or publisher. 


Hijacked Journals

Hijacked Journals

A hijacked journal is a counterfeit website that pretends to be the website of a legitimate scholarly journal. The website creators then solicit manuscript submissions for the hijacked version of the journal, pocketing the money. See the site below for an archive of hijacked journals.