Predatory Journals

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This Library Guide will help you identify the Predatory journals and Publishers and related information

CHECKLIST FOR CHOOSING A LEGITIMATE/QUALITY JOURNAL

CHECKLIST FOR CHOOSING A LEGITIMATE/QUALITY JOURNAL


How can you choose a legitimate journal without being tricked by a predatory journal?

By looking at a very specific characteristics of the journal that could indicate the authenticity of the journal

Warning: must be aware when considering a journal you haven’t heard before.

1: IS THE JOURNAL / PUBLISHER WELL-KNOWN?

What to look for  -  visibility & reputation

Today many journal are easy to access and people would be familiar with reliable journal/publisher

But, if you hearing the journal’s or publisher’s name for the first time, consult your librarian to verify its authenticity

Your librarian definitely be better equipped to find and assess information about a journal or publisher authenticity

2: DOES THE JOURNAL WEBSITE INCLUDE FULL CONTECT INFORMATION ABOUT THE JOURNAL AND PUBLISHER?

What to look for  -  Contact Information

The journal website must provide complete contact information, including a verifiable physical address. If you only web contact forms, double check the other criteria

Try to search the address given in google maps or street view, as it may be fraud.

3: DOES THE JOURNAL'S SCOPE COMBINE MULTIPLE, UNRELATED, WIDED-RANGING FIEDLS?

Check the journal’s “Aims and  Scope” section. Is its scope multidisciplinary?

A multidisciplinary scope itself is not alarming. However, if multiple, unrelated disciplines such as Medicine, Agriculture and Library Science are combined, then you must be cautious.

4: DOES THE JOURNAL’S EDITORIAL BOARD INCLUDE RECOGNISED EXPERTS?

What to look for Editorial Board

Doubtful journals often feature names of prominent researchers without their knowledge. So, it is advisable to verify such claims made by the journals.

Check whether the editorial board members’ full affiliations are mentioned. Try to contact a few of the experts listed to inquire about their experience with the journal, or confirm their association with the journal

5: WERE YOU SENT AN EMAIL INVITATION TO SUBMIT TO THE JOURNAL OR TO JOIN ITS EDITORIAL BOARD?

What to look for Email invitation

Doubtful journals often acquire researchers’ email addresses and send out bulk invitations either to submit a paper or join their editorial board.  If you cannot verify the authenticity of these invitations, it is best to ignore them or report them to the librarian so that other researchers could be warned.

A legitimate journal, its editor or journal staff would use institutional or jounal-affiliated email addresses. This will help to access the journal’s authenticity

6: HAS THE JOURNAL PROMINENTLY DISPLAYED AUTHOR FEES FOR OPEN ACCESS PUBLISHING?

What to look for Author Fee Policy

Many journals tend to hide article processing charges (APC).

Then, they charge authors a hefty amount a the time of publication when it’s too late to back out of the process

In case you feel that the journal is legitimate but it hasn’t  displayed APCs,  you could inquire to the journal for this information. The journal’s response may also help you determine if it is legitimate

7: IS THE JOURNAL’S PEER REVIEW PROCESS CLEARLY DESCRIBED ON THE WEBSITE?

What to look for Peer Review Process

Some bogus publishers claim that manuscripts go through the customary screening process and peer review, but fail to send authors peer reviewers’

Always check whether the journal’s website clearly explains its peer review process. If the journal is legitimate, it will have clear details about its peer review process

8: DOES IT LOOK LIKE THE JOURNAL PUBLISHES GOOD QUALITY RESEARCH?

What to look for Visibility & Reputation

If it is legitimate journal, you will be able to access the journal previously published articles/abstracts

Check some of the articles yourself to gauge the quality of the articles published. Make sure there is NO ERROR

Your librarian definitely be better equipped to find and assess information about a journal or publisher authenticity

9: HAS THE JOURNAL BEEN INDEXED IN INDEXING/PROMINENT DATABASE?

What to look for Indexing information

Reliable journals will likely be indexed (always check) in Web of Science (WoS), SCOPUS, MyCite and ERA.

Or they would be affiliated with prominent publisher or scholarly association such as Directory of  Open Access Journals (DOAJ) or the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), or International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM).

 Note: Newly launched journals will take some time to be indexed.

10: DOES THE JOURNAL MAKE PROMISES THAT SOUND TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?

What to look for Pitch to Authors

Remember that  as a thumb rule- if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true!

Example: if the journal guarantees publication or promises a quick peer review process, then you should be careful before submitting your manuscript.