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How to Identify Deceptive Publishers or Conferences

Tip 1: Consider carefully unsolicited invitations to submit to the publication or conference

Have you received an un-solicited invitation to submit an article to a publication or conference you don't know and have never heard of? Proceed with caution!

Tip 2: Scrutinize the ‘About' section of the journal or conference website

  • Does the Board of Editors or organizers list members who are not recognised in their field or are affiliated with questionable institutions? There have been instances where Board member names have been assigned to a journal without their permission
  • Where is the address of their head office or registered office?
  • Is the target audience for the journal or conference readily identifiable?
  • Are the publisher’s credentials apparent? Are they a member of e.g.: 

Tip 3: Scrutinize the ‘For Authors/ Referees’ or 'submission guidelines section of the journal or conference website

  • Is there minimal (or non-existent) peer review processes?
  • Are the publication contracts clear and attractive?
  • Does the journal have a very high manuscript acceptance rate or promise acceptance guarantees?
  • Are you aware of the society or the association organizing this conference?

Tip 4: Look for quality and transparency

  • Review the published papers in the journal (both their content, rigorous research approach, communication/writing-style etc).
  • Don’t neglect the aesthetics - is there evidence of good copyediting?
  • Are Print on Demand or other print issue options available
  • Are reader feedback mechanisms available?
  • Is it clear what fees will be charged (conference fee, registration fees etc.)
  • Do you recognize the sponsors involved in the conference?
  • Have you heard of the Keynote speakers?
  • Is the Editorial Committee listed on the website?

Tip 5: Is the publisher explicit about its dissemination strategy?

 Is the publisher explicit about how it distributes and actively promotes the journal or proceedings? Is the publication indexed in reputable library databases?