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Research Support

Predatory publishers

Predatory journals, or 'fake journals' take advantage of the open access publishing model, and the current pressure on academics to publish. Disguised as proper Open Access journals they send emails to academics asking for submissions and promise a rapid peer review process. The peer review process is only rapid because it usually does not happen at all in these journals. Predatory journals usually publish everything they receive, which some academics have taken advantage of to expose them, e.g. the famous star wars paper


If you receive an email from a journal that seems suspicious, there are a few warning signs you can look for:​

  • Poor grammar and incorrect spelling (both on website and in the email)

  • The speed of peer review is too quick to be true 

  • Editorial board contains fake members, or members who don't know they are on the board

  • Scope of journal is too broad

  • Journal boasts about being on Google Scholar

  • Journal boasts about its impact factor from IndexCopernicus or other fake metrics 

  • No one in your field has ever heard about the journal before


You can also use the Think. Check. Submit. resource or the DOAJ as a guide to find a safe Open Access journal.