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Be aware of predatory journals!

Predatory journals, fake journals, bogus journals, parasite journals or scam journals – they go by many names.

Journals categorised as the above are characterised by not meeting standards for good research ethics.

These types of journals are believed to be most common among journals with free access i.e. Open Access journals.

Predatory journals constitute a major problem for researchers who may unintentionally have their articles published in these journals. If you as a researcher have signed a contract with a predatory journal, it is very hard to get your article removed. There is a huge demand on researchers to publish, and it may be tempting to submit your manuscript to a journal that approaches you; but be critical and do not (always) fall for words of praise.

How to you as a researcher avoid these predatory journals? It may be hard to decide if a journal complies with good research ethics. VIA Library has made a list of points to pay attention to before choosing a journal. Notice that the list is not complete, as new Open Access journals surface all the time.​

  • Does the journal use aggressive marketing strategies? Are you a known researcher in the field and could that be the reason for approaching you? If you can say ”yes” to the first question and ”no” to the last question you should be particularly critical towards the journal in question
  • Are the members of the editorial board known? Beware – familiar names are also used, and these people may not have accepted to be on the editorial board
  • Is the journal part of DOAJ
  • Is the journal on the BFI list
  • Is the publisher a member of OASPA
  • Is the journal known in your research environment?
  • Where is the journal indexed? See Ulrichs Web 
  • Is the publisher member of a ’recognized industry initiative’? - check Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)  
  • Check INASP’s Journal Online platforms for journals published in Asia and Latin America
  • How high is the impact factor of the journal?
  • Does the journal have an insignificant title? Beware – often titles are chosen that are easy to mix up with well-established journals.

You can also use the checklist at Think, Check, Submit

Moreover, you are of course welcome to contact VIA Library for support if you doubt the seriousness of a journal.

03 December 2018