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Last Updated: Oct 20, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Predatory Publishing Print Page

What is a Predatory Publisher?

Opportunistic publishers share several characteristics:

  • They exist to make money by taking advantage of the "author-pays model" of open access journal publishing,* and have no interest in promoting scholarship or advancing knowledge.
  • They engage in questionable business practices, such as charging excessive author fees or failing to disclose publication fees to potential authors.
  • They fail to follow accepted standards of scholarly publishing, particularly in regards to peer review.

Venus FlyTrap (photo by David Midgley)

Nims, J. & Storm, P. (2016, August 10). Predatory Publishers. Retrieved from

Recognizing a Predatory Publisher

Predatory publishers:

  • usually publish journals which are improbable combinations of disciplines.
  • use spam to solicit papers.
  • may publish papers which have already been published elsewhere.
  • have websites with false or very little contact information.
  • promise peer-review and publication "the next day" or some other unlikely time frame.
  • list members of the editorial board who are individuals no one has ever heard of in the area(s) of research.
  • have 'sales' on the cost of publishing articles.
  • send emails and have websites with misspellings and/or bad grammar.
  • tout non-existant impact factors. (Impact factors are only calculated for journals indexed in the Citation Indexes, which is only a portion of all journals published.)

 Gillham, C. (2016, September 21). Scholarly Publications vs. Predatory Publishers. Retrieved from:


Be Aware!!

Predatory Journals are picked up by Google Scholar!

Resources for Verifying Publishers

  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
    a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals. Journals in DOAJ are quality.
  • Nurse Author Editor
    list to help nurse authors find a suitable and reputable journal in which to publish their work.
    Journals indexed in CINAHL have been vetted for legitimacy. Check the Publications link in the top left corner for a list of journals.
  • Pubmed
    Journals listed in NCBI Databases have been vetted for legitimacy.
  • Cabell's
    Access limited to Detroit Mercy personnel. Requires log in through Blackboard. Offers both a white list and a black list directory of business journals.

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