In recent years, the ethics of science have been undermined by publishers of low-quality journals (or organisers of fictitious or pseudoscientific conferences) whose aim is to generate profits by collecting publication/conference fees without adhering to established standards of scientific communication and publishing ethics.
Predators base their strategy on the ever-increasing pressure to publish academic work in order to succeed in an academic career (“Publish or perish”). They exploit this situation by offering almost immediate publication of a submitted article or thesis with the promise of a prompt review process. Your article is thus published in a journal of no professional quality under the guise of inadequate or completely non-existent peer review. In some cases, they will ask you to pay after the article is published, and if you don’t pay and ask for the article to be removed from their website, they will do so only under penalty of a fine. In short, avoid predatory journals; as an author, you cannot gain anything of value by publishing in them.
Because of the different practices of predatory publishers, it is not always possible to determine conclusively whether a predator is indeed a predator. Below is a summary of the most common methods to help you spot them.
Predatory publishers often send unsolicited email invitations for submissions. For example, if you have received an email offering to publish your thesis, but the content is not to your liking (for example, it is in an impersonal form or contains phrases like “we read some of your articles with interest”), always investigate the publisher and the periodical thoroughly.
Characteristics of a Predator:
If a publisher is communicating with you in an unusual way, there are several ways to find out about their unfair practices:
Detecting predatory journals is becoming increasingly difficult as they continually improve their websites and communication styles. It is most likely a predator if you detect any of these points.
Need clarification or want advice on this topic?