All Open Access journals that are legitimate, because they operate for the right reasons, provide many benefits for you as an author or reader of scientific literature. But – like any type of business – not all publishers are trustworthy. It is important to avoid predatory companies masquerading as scholarly journals.

These ’predatory’ journals don’t just take institutional or your private money, they also take away your control over your scholarship. Once they have ’published’ your paper, it may be impossible to resubmit it to a reliable journal.

8 ways to identify a questionable Open Access journals

If you are thinking of submitting to or citing an article from a journal that meets a number of criteria on the list below, we recommend doing more research about the journal first. How do you spot those journals? Here are a few warning signs:

  1. The journal asks for a submission fee instead of a publication fee or tries to keep the copyright to authors’ work
  2. The editorial board is relatively small or ‘coming soon’
  3. A single publisher releases an overwhelmingly large suite of new journals all at one time
  4. The publisher promises you that papers will be published at a certain time, but this is not consistent with its outdated website
  5. The ‘look and feel’ of the website is poor
  6. The journal title notes an affiliation that does not match its editorial board or location
  7. There are fundamental errors in the titles and abstracts
  8. The content of the journal varies from the title and stated scope.

Source: 8 Ways to Identify a Questionable Open Access Journal (Chrissy Prater, American Journal Experts)  

Questions or comments?

Please contact UM Open Access consultant Coen van Laer.

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