Predatory publishers

Last changed: 07 November 2017

There are many unreliable Publisher offering to publish the student’s exam project and also claiming to be interested in future cooperation. We strongly recommend not to get involved with these publishers and critically review the company before signing a contract.

Open access journals and publishers often cover their costs by article processing charges. Those charges have attracted fraudulent players who start journals or publish books and then charge for peer review and publishing without performing the expected services.

How do I recognise and avoid these "predatory publishers"?

Predatory publishers are only interested in making money and do not care about scientific quality or publishing in a way that is academically advantageous to you.

These publishers often send mass e-mails. However, trustworthy publishers sometimes also communicate via e-mails – so how do you know which ones to avoid?

Some things to consider if you get an offer to publish:

  • Search the internet. What do you find about the publisher? Any pages or blog posts with negative experiences?
  • What information is availabe on the publisher web site? Any contact information? Is it clear where the publisher is situated? Any information on the editorial board? Do you recognise any persons or departments who have previously published with this publisher?  
  • How is the offer written? Bad English and spelling errors are warning signs, of course.
  • Talk to other students – did some of them get the same offer to publish or be part of an editorial board?
  • If you do proceed with a less well-known publisher: make sure to read the license to publish with great care so that you are certain of what the terms are.

Pieta Eklund, University of Borås, has written a comprehensive guide which helps you evaluate publishers and journals. Guide to review OA publishers.