Getting published in a scholarly journal is a tedious, time consuming process. Predatory publishers make claims promising quick publications and are very aggressive in pursuing scholars. They often have official sounding names, a list of (fake) editors, and high (fake) impact scores that make it difficult for many to catch on to their predatory nature.
Here are some warning signs:
- Unclear focus: i.e. ABC Journal of Advanced Research - this title tells us nothing about its subject area.
- The journal's scope of interest includes unrelated subjects alongside legitimate topics.
- Website contains spelling and grammar errors
- Images or logos are distorted/fuzzy or misrepresented/unauthorized.
- Website targets authors, not readers (i.e. publisher prioritizes making money over product).
- The Index Copernicus Value (a bogus impact metric) is promoted. Look for the Thomson Reuters Impact instead.
- The same article appears in more than one journal.
- Authors are published several times in the same journal or issue.
- Founder and/or editor is the same for all journals published by one company.
- There is no clear description of how the manuscript is handled.
- Manuscripts are submitted by email, not uploaded to the publisher.
- Contact email address is non-professional and non-journal/publisher affiliated (e.g., @gmail.com, or @yahoo.com)
- The journal's website does not list a physical address or gives a fake address.
- Rapid publication is promoted and promised.
- There is no article retraction policy.
- There is no digital preservation policy.
- A journal that claims to be open access either retains copyright of published research, fails to mention copyright, or does not make all articles openly available.