Predatory Publishing

Learn about predatory publishers and how to recognize the warning signs

1. It Hurts Your Reputation

Many universities are approaching tenure and promotion efforts with greater scrutiny, due to an increase in researchers publishing in predatory journals. Your department may evaluate the quality of the journals in which you’re publishing and predatory journals could harm both yours, and the university’s, reputation.

2. Lack of Peer Review

Predatory publishers often claim that they have a thorough and legitimate peer-review process, while also promising lightning-fast times to publication. Many times no peer review, or at the very least, low-quality peer review is actually occurring.

Peer review establishes the validity of research and is supposed to prevent falsified work from being published. It is in the author’s best interest to be sure their work is peer reviewed, both for their reputation and to ensure only high-quality work is making it into the literature.

3. Your Work Will be Difficult to Find

Many predatory publishers will claim their journals are indexed in major databases such as PubMed or Web of Science or Google Scholar when, in fact, they aren’t. Indexing in subject-specific databases is vital to your work being found, used and cited.

4. Your Work Could Disappear

Legitimate publishers have a vested interest in preserving their content for the future, but predatory publishers have no incentive or desire to preserve your work for future access. Once they have collected their publishing fees, you cannot guarantee that a predatory publisher will continue to provide access to your work. It could disappear off their website at any time and you could lose that publication.