8 August 2018

Tips on recognizing predatory journals and publishers

In the Volkskrant of today (Dutch only) a story was published on 'predatory journals' and how hundreds of Dutch scientists have published in these journals in recent years. Several news media followed with stories on this topic. 'Predatory journals' are journals which misuse the open access publishing model to make money. A phenomenon that sadly isn't new. Luckily there are tips on recognizing these 'predatory journals'.

The problem with 'predatory journals' is that the 'publishers' present their journals as legitimate and ask for Article Processing Charges (APCs) without organising proper editorial services and peer review in return. This phenomenon isn't new but there is an increase in researchers who fall into the trap of these publishers. The University Library offers some tips on recognizing these 'predatory journals'.

How to avoid 'predatory journals'

  1. Check if the open access journal is registered in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). This is a strongly regulated list. If it is registerd on DOJA, the journal is likely to be trustworthy. If not:
  2. Check if the publisher is a member of COPE or OASPA. If so, the journal is likely to be trustworthy. If not:
  3. Check if you know anyone from the editorial team of the journal. Contact them to verify that they are truly a  member of this team and if the journal has good peer reviews. If you don't know anybody from the editorial team:
  4. Check if you know authors of any recently published articles. Contact them to ask for their experiences and peer reviews.

Do you have any other doubts, contact the University Library or consider publishing in a different journal.

More information

You will find more information about choosing the right journal to publish in on http://thinkchecksubmit.org/

On the page Quality and open access you will find more information about assessing the quality of an open access journal

Do you have any doubts about a journal or if you have other questions about open access publishing, please contact the library: library@uu.nl