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Where to Publish

Be wary of predatory journals

Predatory journals

  • Exist only to make money, not advance scholarship and knowledge. 
  • Take advantage of the author pays model of open access often not clearly stating the fee structure.
  • Fail to follow the accepted standards of publishing peer reviewed research.
  • Often send out mass emails soliciting for articles or people to serve as editors or peer reviewers.

Common Characteristics of potential predatory journals

  1. The scope of interest includes non-biomedical subjects alongside biomedical topics
  2. The website contains spelling and grammar errors
  3. Images are distorted/fuzzy, intended to look like something they are not, or which are unauthorized
  4. the homepage language targets authors
  5. The Index Copernicus Value is promoted on the website
  6. Description of the manuscript handling process is lacking
  7. Manuscripts are requested to be submitted via email
  8. Rapid publication is promised
  9. There is no retraction policy
  10. Information on whether and how journal content will be digitally preserved is absent
  11. The Article processing/publication charge is very low (e.g., <$150)
  12. Journals claiming to be open access either retain copyright of published research or fail to mention copyright
  13. The contact email address is non-professional and non-journal affiliate (e.g., or

"Potential predatory and legitimate biomedical journals: can you tell the difference? A cross-section comparison"
by Larissa Shamseer, David Moher, Onyi Maduekwe, Lucy Turner, Virginia Barbour, Rebecca Burch, et. al.
BMC Medicine volume 15: 28 March 16, 2017 DOI: 10.1186/s12916-017-0785-9


Steps to take if you unknowingly submit an article to a predatory journal