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Research Publishing: Predatory Publishing

An introduction to considerations for Qld Health staff considering publishing.

Predatory Publishing & Journals

Predatory Journals and Publishing

Predatory journals involve an illegitimate publication process which lacks the basic standards and publication ethics. (Beall, J. (2012). Predatory publishers are corrupting open access. Nature, 489, p.179.)

Predatory publishing may exclude the main quality factor of publishing ie peer review, alternatively, this is sometimes fraudulently declared by the publisher on receipt of payment by the author for a "publication fee". This leaves the potential for authors to manipulate their data and yet still be published.

Many of these predatory journals are now indexed to PubMed as PubMed now accepts self-submitted indexing from publishers. The author of this subject guide therefore recommends utilising Medline as the commencement database for literature searching.

Other Reading:

Beall, J. (2017). What I have learned from predatory publishers. Biochemica Medica 27 (2), pp.273-278.

Baker EF, Iserson KV, Aswegan AL, Larkin GL, Derse AR, Kraus CK, American College of Emergency Physicians Ethics Committee. Open access medical journals: Promise, perils, and pitfalls. Academic Medicine. 2019 May 1;94(5):634-9.

Koerber, A. (et al). 2020. A qualitative content analysis of watchlists vs safelists: How do they address the issue of predatory publishing? Journal of Academic Librarianship, v.46 (6) 102236.

Where to Check for Legitimate/Non-legitimate Journals & Publishers

 Open Access Sites (image)

Check the following sources for legitimate/non-legitimate journals and publishers:

Beall's List of Predatory Journals and Publishers
(Although no longer maintained, it has an excellent evaluation tool and links to useful sites.)

Still not sure, ask your health librarian for assistance.



“The Great Science Publishing Scandal” / Matthew Cobb. BBC Sounds.

” Matthew Cobb, Professor of Zoology at the University of Manchester, explores the hidden world of prestige, profits and piracy that lurks behind scientific journals.”

Identifying and Avoiding Predatory Journals and Publishers

8 Ways to Identify a Questionable Open Access Journal

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 very small or “coming soon.”

3. A single publisher releases an overwhelmingly large suite of new journals all at one time.

4. The journal says an issue will be available at a certain time, but the issue never appears.

5. The website is not professional in quality.

6. The journal title notes a national or international 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: Prater, C. 2019. 8 Ways to Identify a Questionable Open Access Journal. AGJE Scholar,

Phony vs Legit

Phony vs legit (Allen Press via FrontMatter)












Source: Evaluating Scholarly Journals Infographic / Allen Press via FrontMatter (CC BYU ND NC 3.0)

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