Answered By: The Library
Last Updated: Feb 28, 2023     Views: 282

There has also been a rise in the prevalence of opportunistic publishers whose main interest is in collecting fees (APCs) from unwary authors.

A 'predatory publisher' generally refers to a publisher who charges a fee for publishing material without delivering the same level of editorial and publishing services offered by legitimate journals such as peer review.

Predatory publishers often email researchers directly to solicit work and are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods as they  ‘scrape the web' for data to populate their spam emails.

Consider using a research publishing plan to list your preferred journals for evaluation and discuss this with your School Librarian.

Core sources to refer to are:

  • The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) has published a list outlining some of the ways that you can tell whether the journal you are considering is legitimate.
  • Review the OA Journal Publishing Checklist which will assist you in evaluating Open Access journals, can also help you identify predatory journals, and manage the risk of publishing in a predatory journal.
  • You can find advice on Finding Scholarly Publishing Outlets to help compare and evaluate the relevant publications in your field.
  • Review the DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) for high-quality, peer-reviewed OA journals and ensure it is listed.
  • Google the journal name, along with the word 'predatory', and review the most recent comments.
  • Consult Sherpa Romeo, on a journal-by-journal basis, for publisher copyright summaries and OA archiving policies.

Other Considerations:

  • Is the Publisher listed as a member of OASPA (Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association)?
  • Check Ulrichsweb:
    • Does Ulrichsweb list a record of the journal title?
    • Is the correct ISSN detailed?
    • Frequency of publishing.
    • Has the journal been peer-reviewed?
    • Is it indexed by citation tools such as Web of Science or Scopus?

For example, if the journal title is not listed in Web of Science, the ‘impact factor’ advertised on the journal’s website is not a JCR’s Journal Impact Factor therefore, it is uncertain to know how the publisher calculated the metric.

Journal metrics are calculated from only two other sources as there are no other sources to obtain journal metrics.  The two other sources are:

If you can only locate references to the journal title via Google Scholar then that strongly indicates it is only listed in public repositories and therefore automatically indexed by Google Scholar.

Does the journal title have the following information?

  • Membership.
  • Pricing structure.
  • APF (Article Processing Fee) for individual articles.
  • Does it indicate currency?
  • Reviews the list of names on the editorial board (are they recognised as experts in the field?).
  • Assess some of the articles (do you think the content is of high quality and would your colleague publish the journal-title?).
  • Is the journal listed on the Juniper Publisher’s website?

How do I know if the journal titles meet WSU’s institutional funds' criteria?

Note: Institutional funding eligibility requires a ranking of Q2 or higher.

The library cannot provide a definitive response as to whether a specific journal title is considered predatory.

This responsibility can only rest with the researcher and if it aligns with their expectations.

I've come across what might be a predatory publisher. Who should I notify?

You can consult with your School Librarian in the first instance.

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