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Predatory Journals

How to Avoid Predatory Journals

Check the publisher and journal on the predatory publishing lists.

Contact your department's Library Liaison for a second opinion about the authenticity of a publisher or journal. We're happy to help faculty attempt tp identify reliable, quality scholarly publishing venues. 

Use the following checklist, provided by Declan Butler in Nature, as a guide for assessing publishers and journals:

How to perform due diligence before submitting to a journal or publisher.

  • 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.
  • Contact a librarian

Predatory Journals Lists

Impact Factor

The impact factor (IF) or journal impact factor (JIF) of an academic journal measures the yearly average number of citations to recent articles .It is meant to measure the prestige or influence of a journal.

There a several ways to measure impact factor:

Bad Signs

Beware of the Copernicus Value impact factor. Jeffrey Beall found  that it included many worthless measures and described it as a "pretty worthless measure."

  1. Copernicus Value 

Questions to Ask

Where is the journal indexed?  Check out databases in your field.

What are the top scholarly societies in the field? You might want to focus just on them.