Predatory Publishing

The term "predatory publishing" refers to publishers who offer publications for a fee with false statements and promises and often without a review process. These predatory publishers, who abuse the Open Access model, harm the researchers publishing there. On October 2nd 2018, the German Rectors' Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz, HRK) issued a statement on this phenomenon.

How can you recognise predatory publishers?

  • Publishers try to recruit authors very aggressively
  • Names of the journals are broad and not very meaningful
  • Sometimes well-known magazines are imitated
  • Costs are not communicated transparently on the websites
  • No sufficient contact options
  • Editorial Board contains only unknown names
  • Impact factor is not correct
  • ISSN is not registered

What consequences might I expect if I publish there?

  • Unpredictable costs
  • Problems with withdrawing a submitted contribution
  • No permanent access
  • Poor findability e.g. in subject and citation databases
  • No adequate assessment of own performance by publication in "wrong" journal

What should I look for before submitting an article to a journal I don't know?

  • Do you know any scientists from the Editorial Board?
  • What is the output of the journal, how long has it existed, who else publishes there?
  • Is the impact factor stated correctly?
  • Is the journal indexed in subject databases?
  • In the case of an open access journal: Is the journal included in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)?
  • Are there clear contact instructions?
  • Are the costs communicated transparently?

On the following page you will find a short information video and comprehensive information on the topic of Predatory Publishing including a checklist:

Do you have questions or are you unsure? We are happy to advise you and support you in the formal review of open access journals.

Contact: Kathrin Lucht-Roussel