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Nursing Resources: Learn more about Predatory Journals

Need to know

Most predatory journals or conferences can be identified by unsolicited emails requesting you to submit your research to their journal or inviting you to attend or speak at a conference in your field. Some predatory journals will email asking you or saying you have been selected to serve as an editor or a member of the Editorial Board. It is very important for the author/individual to investigate any invitation to submit a manuscript, attend a conference, or accept a position on an editor board from an unsolicited email. A librarian can help identify the validity of any such invitation.

Predatory journals are usually NOT peer reviewed, NOT indexed in databases (i.e. PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and cannot, therefore, be found during a literature search), request an extraordinary amount of publication fees for "immediate online access", provide very little copyediting assistance, and almost impossible to locate any information on impact factors or citation counts, which are necessary for tenure. If you cannot locate the journal in PubMed, CINAHL, or Web of Science, more than likely it's predatory.

What is a "predatory journal?"

The definition of “predatory open access publishers” offered by Jeffery Beall, who is quoted in the Chronicle article:

. . . are those that unprofessionally exploit the author-pays model of open-access publishing (Gold OA) for their own profit. Typically, these publishers spam professional email lists, broadly soliciting article submissions for the clear purpose of gaining additional income. Operating essentially as vanity presses, these publishers typically have a low article acceptance threshold, with a false-front or non-existent peer review process. Unlike professional publishing operations, whether subscription-based or ethically-sound open access, these predatory publishers add little value to scholarship, pay little attention to digital preservation, and operate using fly-by-night, unsustainable business models.

How to check for predatory journals?

Key indicators of the legitimacy of newly launched OA journals are:

Legitimate journals acknowledge their newly formed status and do not attempt to feign reputation by referring to false Impact Factors or inclusion of content in indexing and abstracting services.

When in doubt, ask your library or mentor for assistance in determining the validity and legitimacy of an open access journal.