Predatory Publishing

What is a Predatory Publishing?

Predatory Academic Practice

This practice includes activities such as publishing and conferencing that exploit academic research output for financial gain to the detriment of the academics, researchers and their institutions.

Predatory publishing exploits the principles of Open Access by profiting from a researchers’ need to publish and distribute their research. These publishers often charge lower article processing charges (APCs), provide little or no peer review, and promise remarkably short publishing times.  One of their key characteristics is the limited contact information provided.

Common characteristics of predatory practice:

  • Their primary goal is to make money (i.e. there will be fees).
  • They do not care about the quality of the work published (i.e. no or little editing or peer-review).
  • They make false claims or promises (i.e. claims of impact factors and indexing).
  • They engage in unethical business practices (i.e. not as advertised).
  • They fail to follow accepted standards or best practices of scholarly publishing (various).

(O’Donnell, 2012)

Think, Check, Submit


What is a Predatory Conference?

Predatory conferences appear legitimate, but use an exploitive business model similar to that of predatory publishers. Organisers exercise little or no editorial control over presentations and submitted papers.  The involvement of prominent researchers is often claimed (usually without their knowledge) in an attempt to boost conference attendance numbers, if the conference exists at all.

Some aspects to look out for

Is the conference in your field or does it cover a broad range of subjects?

Does the conference appear to be a one-off event? Are the details and papers of the previous event available?

Who is organising the conference? Is there any connection to a legitimate research organization, professional society, or institute?

What sort of fees are associated with attending the conference? Are registration fees with accommodation, meals, and travel?

Do organisers claim that abstracts and papers will be peer reviewed or promise a fast review time, high acceptance rate?

Do organisers guarantee publication in a list of specified journals?

Academic Media Group (2019)


Open Access Defined

Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. Peter Suber (2015)

Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access ensures that anyone can access and use these results to turn ideas into industries and breakthroughs into better lives (SPARC).

Open Science is the practice of science in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute, where research data, lab notes and other research processes are freely available, under terms that enable reuse, redistribution and reproduction of the research and its underlying data and methods (FOSTER).

Open data is the idea that some data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control (Wikipedia)

Selecting a journal to publish your article: Selecting a journal

Tips for selecting a journal

What is a journal Impact factor?

Impact factors are one indicator of journal quality.  They are calculated by determining the  number of times published articles have been cited in the preceding two years. The higher the impact factor, the more articles have been cited. The impact factor, however, should not be used exclusively to establish journal quality. Informed peer-review should also be considered.

Some tips for choosing the right journal:

  • Your literature review will contain journals in your field that have provided you with quality resources;
  • Consult your supervisors, peers and colleagues to obtain a list of journal they have used;
  • Does the aim and scope of the journal match your article content?
  • Has the journal published articles similar to your article?
  • Does the journal have any restrictions?
  • User the library provided services as well as online services such as Journal Finder (see right panel);
  • Consult your librarian.

(How to choose a journal, 2018)