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Open Access

What is Predatory Publishing?

Predatory journals use questionable and unethical practices, including exploiting the open access model by charging article processing fees without providing any editorial services expected of a legitimate publisher.

These practices include:

  • Lack of peer review, even though it may be advertised as a peer-reviewed journal
  • Names which match or are similar to well-known journals in the field
  • Unclear policies regarding article processing charges (APCs)
  • Individuals listed as editors or reviewers without permission
  • Fake journal impact factors
  • False claims regarding indexing in reputable services

Selecting a Journal

Use the sites below to help you select a reputable journal in which to publish your work. You can also contact the library staff for help in researching a journal.

Predatory Conferences

In addition to journals, there are also conferences that can be considered "predatory" due to questionable and unethical practices. 

  • Conference is organized by a corporation, rather than an association or university
  • Important sounding names such as "Global" "International" or "World Congress"
  • Abstracts approved quickly, indicating lack of peer review

You can also use the Think - Check - Submit checklist to evaluate conferences.

Additional Readings

Bohannon, J. (2013). Who's afraid of peer review? Science, 342 (Oct), 60-65. doi: 10.1126/science.342.6154.60. 

Butler, D. (2013). Investigating journals: the dark side of publishing. Nature, 495, 433-435. doi: 10.1038/495433a.

Oermann, M.H., Conklin, J.L., Nicoll, L.H., Chinn, P.L., Ashton, K.S., Edie, A.H., . . . Budinger, S.C. (2016). Study of Predatory Open Access Nursing JournalsJournal of Nursing Scholarship, 48, 624-632. doi: 10.1111/jnu.12248.

INANE Response

In 2014, the International Academy of Nursing Editors (INANE) published a statement about predatory publishing, and many nursing journals published editorials in response, educating nurses about the situation and offering advice.

A Note about Beall's List

Many articles and sites which discuss predatory publishing have relied on "Beall's list," a list of "potential, probable or possible" predatory publishers compiled and maintained by Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado at Denver.

Beall's site, scholarlyoa.org, was taken down in early 2017. The university issued a statement that Beall had decided not to continue with the list. Archived versions are available through the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.