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Critical analysis of scholarly open-access publishing

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  • 07/27/12--07:50: And Now, a Proofreading Scam
  • A bogus proofreading service is spamming scholars with illiterate solicitations for its business. The spam email and the service’s website are both filled with typographical and grammatical errors.  The company’s name appears to be just Manuscript Proofreading. The site is decorated with professional images that appear to have been lifted from the internet. The site’s “editors” page [...]


    Manuscript ProofreadingManuscript Proofreading

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    The gold rush continues with IBIMA Publishing. By “gold rush,” I refer to the rush to set up gold (author-pays) open-access publishing sites that can make their owners easy money. This publisher has started out with a fleet of 59 journals. The titles cover the fields of business, social sciences, computer science, life sciences, and [...]


    IBIMA PublishingIBIMA Publishing

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    The editor of the Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies, Senthil P. Kumar, wrote an editorial in the journal that contains passages that appeared in three previously-published articles. Kumar, who is associate professor in the Dept. of Physiotherapy at the Kasturba Medical College in Mangalore, India, editorialized about the advent of open access, commenting on its strengths [...]


    Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies (JSMDS)Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies (JSMDS)

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  • 08/28/12--08:23: Swiss Journals
  • We have observed the appearance of a new publisher: Swiss Journals. The publisher offers 16 journal titles in the fields of engineering, applied sciences, and health sciences. By looking up the domain name registration, we determined that this publisher is the work of Dr. Shapoor Zarei, of Tehran, Iran. An email response from him confirmed [...]


    Swiss JournalsSwiss Journals

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    Somebody copied a scholarly article, slightly changed the title, replaced the co-authors’ names, and submitted it to the predatory journal African Journal of Agricultural Research (published by Nigeria-based Academic Journals), where it was accepted and published (of course) after the author fee was paid. The July, 2012 prank article, “Mapping Indonesian Paddy Fields Using Multiple-Temporal [...]





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    Two print journals that didn’t have websites have had their identities completely stolen. Unknown persons have created impostor websites using the identities of the journals Wulfenia and Archives des Sciences. The fraudsters have created new websites and have copied the titles, ISSNs, and even the mailing addresses of the established journals. The bogus websites have [...]



    Archives des SciencesArchives des Sciences

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    I am currently researching an organization called the Maryland Institute of Research. It publishes two open-access journals, the International Journal of Business and Social Research, which began in 2011, and the Journal of Arts and Humanities (JAH), which just published its first issue in August, 2012. One confusing thing about this publisher is that it seems [...]


    Maryland Institute of ResarchMaryland Institute of Resarch

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    One of the tricks that the International Organization of Scientific Research (IOSR) uses to convince authors that it is legitimate is to flash logos of legitimate organizations on its main page. There are four pictures that cycle every few seconds. Seen above is the HOLLIS–Harvard Libraries logo, with Harvard’s Veritas symbol. Others include a NASA [...]


    IOSR JournalsIOSR Journals

    IOSR Editorial BoardIOSR Editorial Board

    IOSR 3IOSR 3

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    We recently added the journal International Journal of Applied Research & Studies to our list of stand-alone predatory journals. This journal stands out because it uses as many tricks, unethical practices, and lies to attract authors to submit manuscripts. The website claims it does not charge an author processing fee, but we doubt this claim. [...]


    International Journal of Applied Research & Studies (iJARS)International Journal of Applied Research & Studies (iJARS)


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  • 09/28/12--13:30: Shirley, You Jest
  • IJEST is the International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology, published by ENGG Journals Publications in Madras, India. The site also lists an address in Singapore. The journal has published monthly since October, 2009. Some of its articles contain plagiarism. Its publisher has a website that looks like it’s designed for children: It uses a [...]





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  • 10/16/12--08:04: Copying Elsevier
  • If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the people at Reed Elsevier ought to be very flattered by this imitation of their work. The picture above is from the homepage of the International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences (IJPBS), based in India. The journal gratuitously uses the Elsevier logo in a prominent [...]


    International Journal of Pharma and Bio SciencesInternational Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences

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    Introducing one of the newest open-access publishers: Science Target. According to the publisher’s website, they are based in Ottawa, Ontario. Here is a screen grab from their “contact us” page: However, I did a little research. I searched that address on Google Maps and found a drug store at that address: Because the telephone number [...]


    Science TargetScience Target

    Science TargetScience Target

    Science TargetScience Target

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    We learned recently about a scholarly publisher that appears to be operating like a pyramid scheme. The publisher is Simplex Academic Publishers, based in Tiruchengodu, India. It publishes five journals, including the omnibus journal ScienceJet. We obtained a copy of a spam email sent to a US researcher, asking him to serve as one of [...]


    Simplex Academic PublishersSimplex Academic Publishers

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    The Dirty Western is a blog that is exposing faculty members who have published in — and are taking academic credit for — crummy papers published in predatory journals. The blog has covered Western Illinois University (WIU) in Macomb, Illinois since August, 2009. Recently, the blog ran a series of exposés that critically examined the [...]



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    Trademark violation?

    The latest trend among some predatory publishers is to display the ISO (International Standards Organization) logo on their websites. They do this to make themselves look legitimate. I don’t think any of them are using the logo appropriately, and I think the ones that state they have an ISO certification are lying.

    Some just add the ISO logo to their websites, but I’ve seen a number of predatory journals that claim to be ISO 9001:2008 certified, some without using the logo.

    According to Wikipedia,

    The ISO 9000 family of standards is related to quality management systems and designed to help organizations ensure that they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholder

    Certified? They can’t even get their images to display. Plus their grammar and spacing are atrocious!

    According to the ISO’s website:

    The ISO logo is a registered trademark. Unless authorized by ISO, use of its logo is prohibited. Notably, ISO will not allow its logo to be used in connection with conformity assessment activities. These include the certification of management systems, products, services, materials or personnel, even when these certifications attest conformity to an ISO standard, such as one of the ISO 9000 or ISO 14000 series. Examples of unacceptable use of the ISO logo would include use on products, in publications, on Internet sites, in marketing materials, advertisements and company letterheads.

    Engineers should know better.

    I think this (the quote above) makes it pretty clear that using the logo is a trademark violation.

    All the journals I’ve observed that use the ISO logo gratuitously or that falsely claim ISO certification are from India.

    denverjeffreyISO Certified Journal 2ISO Certified JournalISO Certified 3denverjeffreyISO Certified Journal 2ISO Certified JournalISO Certified 3

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    One of their dissertation covers, back (left) and front (right).
    Don’t be fooled.

    I receive many emails from all over the world complaining about LAP Lambert Academic Publishing GmbH & Co. KG. (This publisher is so bad, I will not even provide a link to them).

    I don’t list them on my blog because they are not an open-access publisher. Instead, they spam recent graduates and junior faculty and entice them to sign over the rights to their dissertations and theses, which Lambert then advertises on Amazon and elsewhere and prints them on demand.

    In fact, the company has a gaggle of “acquisition editors” who search the web all day and night and then send spam emails to their unlucky targets who have recently completed a dissertation.

    LAP is an imprint of VDM Publishing, which is headquartered in Saarbrücken, Germany. The Wikipedia article about VDM Publishing provides a good description of the company’s questionable practices.

    I won’t do a full analysis here because that’s already been done quite well by other bloggers.

    Perhaps the best description and analysis of Lambert Academic Publishing is the one written by Christopher Collins of Toronto, Ontario in his blog. He concludes “Steer clear of this company,” and I agree.

    Recommendation: Do not do any business with Lambert Academic Publishing.


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    Finally, some consequences for spamming.

    Nigeria-based International Research Journals is being cut off by its United States-based Internet service provider for spamming, a violation of the provider’s terms of service. The publisher’s old domain name was http://interesjournals.org. The new domain name is http://interesjournal.org, but it is unclear who the publisher’s new ISP is. At this time, both domains are active, as the old ISP gives the company time to transfer its files.

    The company that expelled International Research Journals appears to be IXwebhosting, based in Columbus, Ohio.

    This information comes via an email that the publisher sent to one of its authors, who then forwarded the email to me.

    In the email, the publisher blames competitors in the U.S. and Canada, who he says had enough influence with the ISP to get them to cut off International Research Journals. He claims this was done to dampen competition.

    Here is the letter the publisher is sending out to its authors:

    Dear [deleted]

    Thanks for the submission of paper(s) to our journal (Educational Research, ER).

    I want to inform you that we are having a downtime in our site: interesjournals.org. The reason is that our webhost are a small hosting company based in the USA. They are about to be blacklisted because of complaints of mails coming out of our mailboxes. These complaints are from some group of people who are also journal publishers that are afraid of our strength in journal publication. These people are based in USA and Canada. They have access to our webhost, they just contact them and our site is suspended. However, our previous webhost suggested we look for a bigger webhost to host our site because the pressure is too much on them and they promise to transfer the domain interesjournals.org to our new webhost within the next seven days. The transfer is currently ongoing. All of our contents are still intact.

    In our effort to serve you better, so that our clients will not be worried, our new webhost suggested we should use this new website: interesjournal.org pending the transfer of the previous site.

    Therefore, all of our contents and papers are now located in interesjournal.org. Therein, you will find your published and incoming papers. We do apologize for the inconveniences.

    Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.

    Kind Regards,

    Ame Obobaifo,

    Editorial Assistant,

    NB: All contacts and correspondences should be forwarded to support.eduresearch@gmail.com

    This may open up a new method of shutting down predatory publishers — complaining to their ISPs about the UCE (unsolicited commercial email) they send out. Perhaps we’ll give this a try.

    denverjeffreyInternational Research Journals (Lagos, Nigeria)denverjeffreyInternational Research Journals (Lagos, Nigeria)

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  • 11/15/12--09:56: Open Access Alcohol
  • Predatory publisher

    Why the quotes around “peer reviewed”?  Also note the typo: “Disease and addition.” Doesn’t add up.

    OA Alcohol is the title of one of 140 new medical-science journals launched recently by the brand-new predatory publisher called OA Publishing London. While we love the idea of free drinks, we are frightened by the appearance of this sloppy new publisher.If this new enterprise is being run by surgeons, we would not let them cut on us. The website is filled with careless mistakes including spelling errors, word choice errors, grammatical errors, dead links, broken image links, and more. The fleet of journals includes two that the publisher claims were transferred from BioMed Central: Head & Neck Oncology and Hard Tissue. BMC states regarding Head & Neck Oncology that,

    Whilst conducting an internal audit, BioMed Central has discovered a number of apparent major irregularities in the journal Head & Neck Oncology. In order to maintain the integrity of the BioMed Central portfolio of journals, we have taken the decision to close the journal with immediate effect and are currently conducting a detailed investigation.

    It appears that something dramatic has taken place, but we are unable to determine what it was. Did the editors defect from BMC and bring their journal with them? What did they do to spur BMC’s investigation? We also observe that several of the journal’s editors have had an unusually high number of articles published in it. One, Mr. Tahwinder Upile, has had over fifty articles published in the journal in the past four years.

    We can find no evidence that BMC ever had a journal entitled Hard Tissue, so it’s possible that this new publisher is not being completely honest. The publisher has a range of article processing charges (APCs) for its journals. The website states the range is from “£100/€125/$162 to £750/€925/$1200.” Only a very few of the journals currently contain any content.

    We are suspicious of any new OA startup that begins with 140 new journals and are concerned about the murky circumstances surrounding the transfer of the BMC journals to this new publisher. The sloppy condition of the site supports our suspicion that those behind this venture lack the ability to move it forward successfully and ethically.

    We think this new publisher is really just out separate authors from their money, and we recommend against submitting manuscripts to the publisher or serving on any of its editorial boards.


    Appendix: List of OA Publishing London Journals as of 2012-11-12

    1. Hard Tissue
    2. Head and Neck Oncology
    3. OA Alcohol
    4. OA Alternative Medicine
    5. OA Anaesthetics
    6. OA Anatomy
    7. OA Applied Physiology
    8. OA Arthritis
    9. OA Autism
    10. OA Autoimmune
    11. OA Behavioural Medicine
    12. OA Biochemistry
    13. OA Bioinformatics
    14. OA Biology
    15. OA Biotechnology
    16. OA Blood Transfusion
    17. OA Bone Marrow
    18. OA Breast Disease
    19. OA Cancer
    20. OA Cardiology
    21. OA Case Reports
    22. OA Cell and Tissue
    23. OA Clinical Pathology
    24. OA Clinical Pharmacology
    25. OA Clinical Trials
    26. OA Conservative Dentistry
    27. OA Critical Care
    28. OA Dental Implantology
    29. OA Dentistry
    30. OA Dermatology
    31. OA Diabetes
    32. OA Drug Design and Delivery
    33. OA Elderly Medicine
    34. OA Embryology
    35. OA Emergency Medicine
    36. OA Endocrinology
    37. OA Endodontology
    38. OA Endoscopic Surgery
    39. OA Epidemiology
    40. OA Evidence-Based Medicine
    41. OA Experimental Medicine
    42. OA Family Medicine
    43. OA Forensic Medicine
    44. OA Gastroenterology
    45. OA Genetics
    46. OA Gynaecology
    47. OA Haematology
    48. OA Hand
    49. OA Hepatology
    50. OA Immunodeficiency
    51. OA Immunology
    52. OA Infectious Diseases
    53. OA Inflammation
    54. OA Integrative Medicine
    55. OA Interventional Radiology
    56. OA Lasers
    57. OA Leukaemia
    58. OA Lymphoma
    59. OA Medical Education
    60. OA Medical Ethics and Law
    61. OA Medical Hypothesis
    62. OA Medical Leadership
    63. OA Medical Physics
    64. OA Medical Simulation
    65. OA Medical Statistics
    66. OA Medicine
    67. OA Metabolic Disease
    68. OA Microbiology
    69. OA Minimally Invasive Surgery
    70. OA Molecular and Cell Biology
    71. OA Molecular Oncology
    72. OA Musculoskeletal Medicine
    73. OA Nano-Bio-Technology
    74. OA Nephrology
    75. OA Neuro-Oncology
    76. OA Neuroradiology
    77. OA Neurosciences
    78. OA Neurosurgery
    79. OA Nuclear Medicine
    80. OA Nutrition & Dietetics
    81. OA Obesity & Bariatric Medicine
    82. OA Obstetrics
    83. OA Ophthalmology
    84. OA Optical Diagnostics
    85. OA Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
    86. OA Oral Medicine
    87. OA Orthodontics
    88. OA Orthopaedics
    89. OA Osteoporosis
    90. OA Otolaryngology
    91. OA Paediatric Dentistry
    92. OA Paediatric Medicine
    93. OA Paediatric Surgery
    94. OA Pain Medicine
    95. OA Palliative Care
    96. OA Parasitology
    97. OA Pathology
    98. OA Periodontology
    99. OA Perioperative Medicine
    100. OA Pharmacology
    101. OA Photodynamic Applications
    102. OA Plastic Surgery
    103. OA Prosthetic Dentistry
    104. OA Proteomics
    105. OA Psychiatry
    106. OA Psychology
    107. OA Public Health
    108. OA Quality of Life
    109. OA Radiological Imaging
    110. OA Rehabilitation Medicine
    111. OA Reproductive Medicine
    112. OA Respiratory Medicine
    113. OA Rheumatology
    114. OA Robotic Surgery
    115. OA Sarcoma
    116. OA Sexually Transmitted Infections
    117. OA Spine
    118. OA Sports Medicine
    119. OA Stem Cells
    120. OA Stroke
    121. OA Substance Abuse
    122. OA Surgery
    123. OA Surgical Oncology
    124. OA Surgical Techniques
    125. OA Systematic Reviews
    126. OA Thoracic Surgery
    127. OA Thyroid
    128. OA Tissue Engineering
    129. OA Tobacco
    130. OA Toxicology
    131. OA Translational Research
    132. OA Transplant Surgery
    133. OA Trauma
    134. OA Tuberculosis
    135. OA Undergraduate Medicine
    136. OA Uro-Oncology
    137. OA Urology
    138. OA Vascular Surgery
    139. OA Veterinary Medicine
    140. OA Virology

    denverjeffreyOA AlcoholdenverjeffreyOA Alcohol

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    85 new journals all started at the same time.

    A brand-new open-access publisher has just appeared: Science and Education Publishing (SciEP). The publisher is launching with 85 new journals, the second large launch I’ve seen in a single week (OA Publishing London recently launched with 138 brand new journals).

    This practice of starting a publisher with an excessive number of journals is called a “fleet startup.”

    One interesting thing about SciEP is that the company does not reveal where it is from. Their “Contact us” page does not give any hint of a location. The location element of their domain-name registration is covered by a proxy. [Update Nov. 29, 2012: The contact us page now lists this address: 10 Cheswold Blvd., #1D, Newark, De, 19713, United States, which is a small apartment].

    Predatory publishers often hide their true location when they think it will be a turnoff to potential authors.

    A “call for papers” spam email the company is sending out says “Science and Education Publishing, USA,” indicating — probably falsely — that the publisher is U.S.-based.

    I looked at the publisher’s inept Facebook page, which is set up as a person (rather than an organization) under the name Giovanni Sciepub. Could it be from Italy?  


    Poorly done Facebook page.

    The spam email is signed “David Rain,” but this is a common name, and I cannot find anyone in the scholarly publishing industry with that name. A Google Scholar search on the name yields no usable clues. It’s probably a contrived name.

    The email indicates that they are now accepting submissions, even though none of its journals has an editorial board yet — the editorial board pages are all blank. Submissions are free through the end of 2012 and they plan to release their first journal issues in February, 2013.

    Because of its lack of transparency and probably use of a fake name, I strongly recommend against serving on any of this publisher’s editorial boards and against submitting a manuscript to any of its journals.

    Hat tip: Lynne Fox, Charlie Greenberg

    Appendix: List of journals published by Science and Education Publishing: 

    1. American Journal of Public Health Research
    2. American Journal of Medical Sciences and Medicine
    3. American Journal of Pharmacological Sciences
    4. American Journal of Medicine Studies
    5. American Journal of Food and Nutrition
    6. American Journal of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease
    7. American Journal of Medical and Biological Research
    8. American Journal of Clinical Medicine Research
    9. American Journal of Nursing Research
    10. American Journal of Hypertension Research
    11. American Journal of Cardiovascular Disease Research
    12. American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
    13. American Journal of Cancer Prevention
    14. American Journal of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
    15. American Journal of Biomedical Research
    16. American Journal of Microbiological Research
    17. American Journal of Zoological Research
    18. American Journal of Applied Psychology
    19. American Journal of Educational Research
    20. American Journal of Rural Development
    21. American Journal of Modeling and Optimization
    22. American Journal of Numerical Analysis
    23. American Journal of Applied Mathematics and Statistics
    24. Applied Mathematics and Physics
    25. American Journal of Mathematical Analysis
    26. American Journal of Mechanical Engineering
    27. American Journal of Industrial Engineering
    28. American Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture
    29. American Journal of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
    30. Automatic Control and Information Sciences
    31. American Journal of Energy Research
    32. American Journal of Sensor Technology
    33. American Journal of Vehicle Design
    34. American Journal of Materials Science and Engineering
    35. American Journal of Nanomaterials
    36. American Journal of Materials Engineering and Technology
    37. American Journal of Mining and Metallurgy
    38. American Journal of Information Systems
    39. American Journal of Software Engineering
    40. American Journal of Systems and Software
    41. Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences
    42. American Journal of Environmental Protection
    43. American Journal of Marine Science
    44. American Journal of Water Resources
    45. American Journal of Food Science and Technology
    46. Biomedicine and Biotechnology
    47. Biomedical Science and Engineering
    48. Chemical Engineering and Science
    49. International Journal of Clinical Nutrition
    50. International Journal of Physics
    51. Information Security and Computer Fraud
    52. Journal of Surgery
    53. Journal of Preventive Medicine
    54. Journal of Nutrition and Health
    55. Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment
    56. Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology
    57. Journal of Mathematical Sciences and Applications
    58. Journal of Ocean Research
    59. Journal of Optoelectronics Engineering
    60. Journal of Embedded Systems
    61. Journal of Automation and Control
    62. Journal of Instrumentation Technology
    63. Journal of Materials Physics and Chemistry
    64. Journal of Business and Management Sciences
    65. Journal of Finance and Accounting
    66. Journal of Finance and Economics
    67. Journal of Computer Sciences and Applications
    68. Journal of Computer Networks
    69. Journal of Geosciences and Geomatics
    70. Journal of Atmospheric Pollution
    71. Journal of Aquatic Science
    72. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
    73. Journal of Food Security
    74. Materials Science and Metallurgy Engineering
    75. Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Research
    76. Physics and Materials Chemistry
    77. Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences
    78. Renewable and Sustainable Energy
    79. Research in Plant Sciences
    80. World Journal Control Science and Engineering
    81. Wireless and Mobile Technologies
    82. World Journal of Analytical Chemistry
    83. World Journal of Organic Chemistry
    84. World Journal of Environmental Engineering
    85. World Journal of Agricultural Research

    denverjeffreySciEPSciEP 2denverjeffreySciEPSciEP 2

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    In August 2012, I published the first edition of my Criteria for Determining Predatory Open-Access Publishers. I received many helpful comments and am now publishing a second edition of the work. I am especially grateful to Bill Cohen and Dr. Michael W. Firmin for their helpful suggestions. Also, thanks to all the those who left helpful comments or who sent in emails with suggestions.  This document is also available as a PDF.

    ­Criteria for Determining Predatory Open-Access Publishers 

    By Jeffrey Beall

    2nd edition / December 1, 2012

    1. Complete an analysis of the publisher’s content, practices, and websites according to ethical standards established by membership organizations.

    A. Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) Code of Conduct 

    B. Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Code of Conduct for Journal Publishers [PDF]

    C. International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM) Code of Conduct

    2. Complete an analysis of the publisher’s content, practices, and websites: contact the publisher if necessary, read statements from the publisher’s authors about their experiences with the publisher, and determine whether the publisher commits any of the following practices (below) that are known to be committed by predatory publishers.

    n.b. Some journals publish independently of any publisher, but in most cases, we evaluate journals that are part of a publisher’s fleet. The practices described below are meant to apply both to independent journals and to publishers with multiple journals in their portfolios.

    Editor and Staff

    • The publisher’s owner is identified as the editor of all the journals published by the organization.
    • No single individual is identified as the journal’s editor.
    • The journal does not identify a formal editorial / review board.
    • No academic information is provided regarding the editor, editorial staff, and/or review board members (e.g., institutional affiliation).
    • Evident data exist showing that the editor and/or review board members do not possess academic expertise to reasonably qualify them to be publication gatekeepers in the journal’s field.
    • Two or more journals have duplicate editorial boards (i.e., same editorial board for more than one journal).
    • The journals have an insufficient number of board members, have concocted editorial boards (made up names), include scholars on an editorial board without their knowledge or permission, have board members who are prominent researchers but exempt them from any contributions to the journal except the use of their names and/or photographs.

    Business Management

    The publisher…

    • Demonstrates a lack of transparency in publishing operations.
    • Has no policies or practices for digital preservation.
    • Depends on author fees as the sole and only means of operation with no alternative, long-term business plan for sustaining the journal through augmented income sources.
    • Begins operations with a large fleet of journals, often using a template to quickly create each journal’s home page.
    • Provides insufficient information or hides information about author fees, offering to publish an author’s paper and later sending a previously-undisclosed invoice.


    • The name of a journal is incongruent with the journal’s mission.
    • The name of a journal does not adequately reflect its origin (e.g., a journal with the word “Canadian” or “Swiss” in its name that has no meaningful relationship to Canada or Switzerland).
    • The journal falsely claims to have an impact factor, or uses some made up measure (e.g. view factor), feigning international standing.
    • The publisher sends spam requests for peer reviews to scholars unqualified to review submitted manuscripts.
    • The publisher falsely claims to have its content indexed in legitimate abstracting and indexing services or claims that its content is indexed in resources that are not abstracting and indexing services
    • The publisher dedicates insufficient resources to preventing and eliminating author misconduct, to the extent that the journal or journals suffer from repeated cases of plagiarism, self-plagiarism, image manipulation, and the like.
    • The publisher asks the corresponding author for suggested reviewers and the publisher subsequently uses the suggested reviewers without sufficiently vetting their qualifications or authenticity. (This protocol also may allow authors to create faux online identities in order to review their own papers).


    A predatory publisher may ...

    • Publish papers already published in other venues/outlets without providing appropriate credits
    • Use language claiming to be a “leading publisher” even though the publisher may only be a startup or a novice organization.
    • Operate in a Western country chiefly for the purpose of functioning as a vanity press for scholars in a developing country.
    • Do minimal or no copyediting.
    • Publish papers that are not academic at all, e.g. essays by laypeople or
      obvious pseudo-science.
    • Have a “contact us” page that only includes a web form, and the publisher hides or does not reveal its location

    The following practices are considered to be reflective of poor journal standards and, while they do not equal predatory criteria, potential authors should give due consideration to these items prior to manuscript submissions:

    • The publisher copies “authors guidelines” verbatim (or with minor editing) from other publishers.
    • The publisher lists insufficient contact information, including contact information that does not clearly state the headquarters location or misrepresents the headquarters location (e.g., through the use of addresses that are actually mail drops).
    • The publisher publishes journals that are excessively broad (e.g., Journal of Education) in order to attract more articles and gain more revenue from author fees.
    • The publisher publishes journals that combine two or more fields not normally treated together (e.g., International Journal of Business, Humanities and Technology).
    • The publisher requires transfer of copyright and retains copyright on journal content. Or the publisher requires the copyright transfer upon submission of manuscript.
    • The publisher has poorly maintained websites, including dead links, prominent misspellings and grammatical errors on the website.
    • The publisher makes unauthorized use of licensed images on their website, taken from the open web, without permission or licensing from the copyright owners.
    • The publisher engages in excessive use of spam email to solicit manuscripts or editorial board memberships
    • The publishers’ officers use email addresses that end in .gmail.com, yahoo.com some other free email supplier
    • The publisher fails to state licensing policy information on articles or shows lack of understanding of well-known OA journal article licensing standards.
    • The publisher lacks a published article retraction policy or retracts articles without a formal statement; also the publisher does not publish corrections or clarifications and does not have a policy for these issues.
    • The publisher does not use ISSN numbers, DOI numbers or uses them improperly.
    • For the name of the publisher, the publisher uses names such as “Network,” “Center,” “Association,” “Institute,” and the like when it is only a publisher and does not meet the definition of the term used.
    • The publisher has excessive advertising on its site to the extent that it interferes with site navigation and content access.
    • The publisher has no membership in industry associations and/or intentionally fails to follow industry standards.
    • The publisher includes links to legitimate conferences and associations on its main website, as if to borrow from other organizations’ legitimacy, and emblazon the new publisher with the others’ legacy value.
    • The publisher displays prominent statements that promise rapid publication and/or unusually quick peer review.
    • The publisher focuses on authors (not readers) and on getting their fees at the expense of due quality, and offers few or no value adds to readers such as RSS feeds, hotlinked references, or the like.
    • The publisher creates a publishing operation that is set up and run by a single individual who engages in rapacious entrepreneurial behavior. The individual might have business administration experience, and the site may have business journals but it also has journals that are outside the experience of the entrepreneur or anyone on staff.
    • The publisher or its journals are not listed in standard periodical directories or are not widely cataloged in library databases.
    • The publisher copies or egregiously mimics journal titles from other publishers.
    • The publisher uses text on the publisher’s main page that describes the open access movement and then foists the publisher as if the publisher is active in fulfilling the movement’s values and goals.
    • None of the members of a particular journal’s editorial board have ever published an article in the journal.

    denverjeffreyCC BYdenverjeffreyCC BY


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