Predatory publishers use the open access publishing model for their own profit.
“Predatory” publishers solicit articles from faculty and researchers with the intention of exploiting authors who need to publish their research findings in order to meet promotion and tenure or grant funding requirements. These publishers collect extravagant fees from authors without providing the peer review services that legitimate journals provide prior to publishing papers.
Predatory publishers share common characteristics:
Since the open access publishing model covers publishing costs by collecting fees from authors (rather than from readers or subscribers), predatory publishers pretend to operate legitimate open access journals and convince authors to submit manuscripts for publication with the promise of speedy peer-review. In most cases, no peer-review process actually exists. Some predatory publishers often target novice faculty members who face pressure to publish and are less familiar with traditional publishing business practices.
Predatory publishers may also promise low article processing fees. However, once an article is "published," the publisher will invoice the author a much larger price than originally quoted. Once an article is published, authors have very little recourse.
When you decide to publish your article with a legitimate publisher, they will provide services such as peer-review, archiving, discovery services that enable others to find your work easily, and copyright protection. Predatory journals do not provide such services.
The dangers of publishing in a predatory journal can include:
Predatory publishers often publish papers that have not gone through any peer-review process.
This guide is intended to provide information about predatory publishing and is intended as a guide only. Deciding where to publish is solely the responsibility of individual authors.
The content in this guide does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to replace the advice of legal counsel.
This guide is adapted with permission from the Predatory Publishing LibGuide of Ruth Bueter, MLS Serials & Systems Librarian, Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library, George Washington University