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Why avoid predatory publishers?

“It is important that the scholarly community, including authors, institutions, editors, and publishers, support the legitimate scholarly research enterprise, and avoid supporting predatory journals by not publishing in them, serving as their editors or on the Editorial Boards, or permitting faculty to knowingly publish in them without consequences.” (Ferris & Winker, 2017)

The following table describes the main ethical issues posed by predatory journals (Ferris & Winker, 2017):

Issue Elaboration
Misrepresentation Predatory journals distort who they are and what services they offer
Lack of editorial and publishing standards and practices Predatory journals lack standards and best practices as established by the scholarly publishing community, which improve the quality and ethics of published work
Academic deception Authors misrepresent their scholarly effort by choosing to publish in predatory journals
Research and funding wasted Research published in predatory journals may not receive the recognition it deserves and may become inaccessible, hence the effort and risk of research as well as funding are wasted
Lack of archived content Predatory journals do not archive their content in third party sites making it inaccessible in the future
Undermining confidence in research literature Predatory journals undermine faith that readers and the public have in research literature


Made the editor without your knowledge?

Your name may be placed on editorial boards of predatory journals without your knowledge, with your university affiliation. In order to protect your own reputation and that of the institution, you could consider searching the Internet, for example, ‘Google’ your own name to see if there is any such misappropriation. Instruct the predatory publisher to remove your name as soon as possible if you find any.

Video: What are predatory publishers?

A video detailing how to avoid predatory publishers when looking for an academic journal to publish your research.

(Source: University of Manitoba Libraries. 2016)


Video: What is predatory publishing?

This video gives a quick overview of what is predatory publishing, how to avoid predatory publishers and how it relates to open access.

(Source: John Bond. 2016)

Further readings:

Kolata, G. (20170). Many academics are eager to publish in worthless journals.

Ferris, L. E., & Winker, M. A. (2017). Ethical issues in publishing in predatory journals. Biochemia Medica, 27(2), 279–284. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 License.