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Open Access Publishing: Avoiding Predatory Publishers and Conferences

Avoiding Predatory Publishing

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.,, or
  • 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.

Conference checkers

Predatory Journals and Conferences Fact Sheet

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