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Predatory Open Access Publishers: Home

This guide explains predatory open access publishing and offers authors tips for avoiding predatory publishers.

What is a Predatory Publisher?

A predatory publisher is an opportunistic publishing venue that exploits the academic need to publish but offers little reward for those using their services.

The academic "publish or perish" scenario combined with the relative ease of website creation has inadvertently created a market ripe for the exploitation of academic authors. Some publishers are predatory on purpose, while others may make mistakes due to neglect, mismanagement, or inexperience. While the motivations and methods vary predatory publishers have common characteristics:

  • Their primary goal is to make money (i.e. there will be fees).
  • They do not care about the quality of the work published (i.e. no or little editing or peer-review).
  • They make false claims or promises (i.e. claims of impact factors and indexing).
  • They engage in unethical business practices (i.e. not as advertised).
  • They fail to follow accepted standards or best practices of scholarly publishing (various).

About this guide

Please be aware this is a guide. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of each author to make the final decision on where to publish. Prospective authors are encouraged to be thorough in researching reputable publishers.

Anna Beth Morgan provides her gratitude to Megan N. O'Donnell (Iowa State University) for much of the content found in this guide on Predatory Publishing has been authored by Megan N. O'Donnell.