What is a predatory publisher and how can I spot one?
A predatory publisher exploits academics by taking money to publish their research online, without regard for quality, peer-review or scholarly standards. Please note that this is different from legitimate Open Access publishing.
To spot a predatory publisher or journal consider the following:
Do your colleagues know the journal?
- Speak to your colleagues, Academic Librarian or Research Services about any journal you're unsure about
Is the publisher easily contactable?
- The publisher should have clear, professional contact details including a business and email address
Is the peer review and editorial process clear?
- Peer review is crucial for maintaining the quality of journal publications. If the process is unclear or absent, this is a warning sign
- Do you recognise the editorial board? Do they belong to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)?
See if you can find the journal within the Library's subscriptions
Fees and Payments
- You should not have to pay upfront fees when you submit your manuscript to a publisher
- Is there an Article Processing Charge (APC) to pay if the article is accepted for publication? Many legitimate publishers/ journals do charge an APC, but please see our webpage first
Open Access (OA) journals
- See our Open Access page for general information
- Check the public list of journals that have been accepted into or removed from Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)