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Predatory Publishers – What an academic needs to know

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by Joanna Blair, Seneca Libraries

in the December 2017 issue

 

You may have heard of Predatory Publishers in the news recently. Predatory publishers are scam academic publishers who produce untrustworthy scholarly journals. The practices of these publishers are so suspect that they are under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S.

What is a Predatory Publisher?
Predatory publishers produce poor quality academic journals that focus on profit at the expense of scholarly excellence. These publishers abuse the Open Access model of academic publishing and charge authors a fee in exchange for publication. While these online journals may look legitimate, they do not conduct rigorous peer-review, may not have an editorial board, and are not usually indexed in regular journal services for the field.

How does this impact Academics and Researchers?
When submitting academic research and writing, academics need to be cautious when selecting a publisher. You want your published work presented professionally in a respected journal and you want to make sure that readers can find your work through a “go-to” database such as JSTOR or ScienceDirect. In general, avoid publishers that solicit manuscripts. Once you have submitted your article to a journal, you are not eligible to submit to another journal until the first journal has rejected your work and predatory journals do not reject work!

What should I tell students?
Students who are doing research for a paper may find articles from predatory journals when searching Google. Encourage students to use reliable databases for research and to always evaluate the material they find.

How will I recognize a Predatory Publisher?

  1. Watch out for journals that solicit submissions.
  2. Determine if the journal is available through a library database where you usually do research.
  3. Ask your peers if they have heard of the journal or have published in it.
  4. Check the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) to see if the journal title is included.
  5. Still unsure? Ask a Seneca Librarian.

think check submit logo

Think Check Submit” is licensed under CC BY 4.0

 

More Resources

For more information on Predatory Publishing and a chance to test yourself, see the Seneca Libraries module on Predatory Publishing.

Think Check Submit is a campaign to help researchers identify the right journal. More resources are available at thinkchecksubmit.org.

 

 


View the December 2017 issue of the Academic Newsletter.

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