Dubious Open Access Publishers
Did you receive an email from an open access publisher who wonders if you want to publish with them? It may seem flattering, but you should be on your guard. Trustworthy publishers do not usually approach you like that, there are some rogue publishers that exploit the open access business model.
Most commonly the so called predatory publishers will charge for the publication while trying to maximize profits by keeping costs down and to publish large volumes. Proper peer-review-processes are non-existent and script editing does not occur. Journals often claim to be indexed in some of the large scientific databases but that is often a lie. To make sure that you are not publishing in any of those journals we recommend to check the following:
- Googling the journal / publisher. In many cases, one of the first hits you get are warnings from other researchers who point out dishonest practices.
- Check the journal's website. What information can you find about the publisher.
- Are there contact details?
- Is the side professionally done? Dubious journals are often just a "shell". Links, sub-pages and related information can not be reached and there will be more and more mistakes, the deeper you dive into the page.
- Are previously articles published by renowned scientists and/or from renowned institutions?
- Who sits on the Editorial Committee (editorial board)?
- Is there information about the journal's peer-review, and how does it work?
- Is the journal in DOAJ or OA Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA)?
- Are the terms in their publishing agreement reasonable?
- What about copyright?
- Is the journal indexed in any of the major databases such as Web of Science or Scopus?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel unsure.