How to identify predatory journals

This section provides a brief summary of some common features of predatory

  • Poorly presented, unformatted, inconsistently designed articles.
  • Claims of peer review but little evidence that any is carried out.
  • Claims of very rapid peer review, including offers of publication within days.
  • Declaration of journal metrics from databases with names similar to well known databases, which often offer paid-for metrics.
  • Claims to have a very high impact factor.
  • Very high self-citation rates in articles.
  • Listing in databases which are intended for use as personal profiles rather than journal indexes, such as ORCID or ResearchGate.
  • Editorial Boards featuring people that do not match real people at the affiliations mentioned.
  • Websites which copy the style and content of existing well known or high quality journals, even copying and hosting articles from those journals.

For more detailed information and methods for identifying problematic journals, refer to the relevant literature including: The Predator Effect: Understanding the Past, Present and Future of Deceptive Academic Journals book by Simon Linacre, What is a predatory journal? A scoping review published by members of the Centre for Journalology, The Open Scholarship Initiative website by Rick Anderson, and the Think.Check.Submit initiative and activities of COPE.