What is predatory publishing?
So-called predatory journals offer the publication of scientific Open Access manuscripts. Like many Open Access journals, they are based on the APC funding model, i.e. the author pays publication fees for publication in these journals. With these journals, however, there is no quality assurance process (peer review) and no editorial processing of the articles. Sometimes, however, they pretend to do so. Some members of the Editorial Boards do not even exist or do not know that they are listed as editors on the journals' website. The designs or names of the Predatory Journals are often chosen on the basis of renowned journals and are intended to give the impression that they are precisely these renowned journals.
Predatory publishing is in no way compatible with scientific honesty. In order to protect you from publications in so-called predatory journals, we have compiled some tips that you should check before submitting your manuscript.
How do I recognize Predatory Journals?
You should be careful, if:
- a journal/publisher keeps sending emails - almost like spam - and aggressively soliciting submissions
- the title of a journal or the design of the website is strongly reminiscent of a well-known journal
- the review and release of an article takes place within the shortest time
- the website of the journal contains many grammar and spelling mistakes
- the journal is not indexed in Pubmed or other databases you normally use
The following online offers can help you to assess the seriousness of a journal:
- The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) only lists journals that apply quality assurance procedures.
- The checklist Think. Check. Submit. offers a comprehensive list of criteria for evaluating the trustworthiness of a journal.
- Journals that are members of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) can be classified as harmless.
Are Open Access journals generally of poor quality?
No. Precisely because critics like to use predatory publishing as an argument against Open Access, it is important to say that most Open Access journals have the same high quality standards as conventional journals and that their quality assurance procedures are in no way inferior to those of closed journals.
There are also some nonserious providers in the field of conferences. Here, websites are created with sham conferences on which scientists are sometimes listed as speakers or members of the organizing committee without ever having heard of them. Or conferences are announced, which are then postponed at short notice.
You should get suspicious, if:
- you do not know the organisation organising this conference
- your colleagues do not know the conference
- you cannot find all the details of the conference (e.g.: attendance fees, submission date, conference date, venue)
- you cannot find clear information on the timetable and agenda of the conference
If you have questions, please contact the Charité Medical Library.