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Predatory Journals and Conferences

What is a predatory journal?

A predatory journal, sometimes also referred to as write-only publishing or predatory open access publishing, is a journal that offers to publish an author’s work for exorbitant fees without offering the other services legitimate journals offer. This includes (but is not limited to) peer reviews, accurate impact factors, or a thorough review process by a handling editor. Predatory journals may also have “fake” members of their editorial board, or list people whom have not been contacted or agreed to be on editorial boards. They often make up their impact factors or other information, such as the number of times articles have been cited or picked up by the media.

What is a predatory conference?

A predatory conference is a parallel to a predatory journal in the sense that it is not run by an editorial board or an over-arching society. These have unfortunately only been growing in number and are often characterized by a “rolling” acceptance of abstracts, little or no review of abstracts, and seemingly no organization to how or when talks and presentations are scheduled.

How do you avoid predatory publishing?

Unfortunately, there is no hard-and-fast rule, and these groups don’t announce themselves as ‘for profit’ journals or conferences. There are, however, several warning signs:

If you even think a journal or conference is possibly predatory, trust your instincts. Stop for a moment and investigate – you worked hard on your material, so there is nothing wrong with taking your time to decide who to publish with! Ask your peers for second opinions, or consult some resources put together on the internet. Unfortunately, there is no “Yelp” or “Angie’s List” for journals, but there are a few resources that could help you narrow down whether you’re facing a predatory journal.

Twenty-five characteristics of a predatory journal.

Stop Predatory Journals provides a list of known predatory journals, though it is not a complete list.

Think. Check. Attend. is an organization meant to support academics trying to avoid predatory conferences. They provided a checklist to help users decided whether or not a conference is legitimate.

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