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How to Identify Deceptive Publishers or Conferences


This guide provides helpful tips on how to identify and avoid predatory or bogus publications when considering appropriate venues in which to publish your research. 

An Evolving Publishing Landscape

The scholarly communications landscape is rapidly evolving in response to the transformative impact of networked technologies on teaching and researcher workflows and academic publishing practices as well as funder policies on open access to research findings.  Many new high quality journals and other non-traditional online publication forms are being established by reputable publishers, scholarly societies and universities that harness the capacity of the global online network to enable the fruits of research and practice to be easily shared and disseminated to the widest possible audience.  

Alternative Publishing Models

As alternatives to the long established oligopoly of international academic publishers that have, to-date accounted for a large share of today’s published journal output in key STEM disciplines, many of these publishers are opting for ‘open’ publishing model that seeks to remove technical or subscription barriers to the reader by making scholarly research freely available online to everyone.  This ‘open access’ (OA) model shifts the publishing cost away from the point of use, namely the reader through say, an individual or more-often Library-funded subscription to the journal, and levies it instead to the author at the point of publication through Article Processing Charges (APCs).   Many reputable OA journals use APCs to cover costs, and many granting bodies now include these costs as an eligible use of grant funds.

Neither low quality, vanity publishing nor the concept of charging a fee to publish are new practices.   Many traditional subscription-based journals also charge authors fees, sometimes per page or for illustrations etc.   Equally, shifting publishing costs away from the reader to the creator is in itself, not a definitive indicator that the publisher and their publications are bogus.