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Recognizing Predatory Journals and Conferences

A guide to educate JWU faculty, students and staff about journals and conferences that employ deceptive practices for unmerited financial or reputational gain. Originally created by Pieta Eklund, and reproduced / edited with permission

Assessing publisher and journal reputation

Publisher & Journal Reputation

The first step to checking a journal can be a simple online search to see what has been written about it. If you don't get any good results one tip is to search for the publisher's name rather than the individual journal's. Many predatory journals are run by companies that publish a number of journals. The particular title you're looking for might not have existed for long enough to gain a reputation, but the publisher itself may have had questions and complaints going way back. Some of the most infamous predatory publishers even have entries in Wikipedia. For example, see Science Publishing Group and OMICS.

Professional organizations that screen for predatory publishers

A good reputation is important for scientific journals. A journal with a good reputation attracts more researchers interested in submitting good-quality manuscripts, and in the long run that leads to more readers and a higher profile in the field. To safeguard their good names, legitimate journals have created a number of professional organisations for journals that meet certain requirements and follow the organisation guidelines:

These four organizations have developed "Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing" where they describe the baseline criteria required for membership.

It's worth keeping in mind that a journal or publisher doesn't have to be predatory simply because it is not part of any of these organizations. But it is a sign that one should be slightly wary of them, and spend more time investigating the journal or contact the library for help evaluating them.

OASPA: The international community for open access publishing

COPE: Promoting integrity in scholarly research and its publication