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What are Predatory Journals?
Predatory journals are online free journals that promise to provide quick peer review for submitted articles, but which instead send authors large bills for publishing articles without providing the promised peer review. Predatory journals hurt the readers of their articles by claiming that the articles have been reviewed by experts, when they have not.
This guide includes resources and suggestions to help you determine whether or not to use a particular online journal.
Resources for Identifying Predatory Journals
Think. Check. Submit.
This website guides users through determining where to submit their articles for publication. It includes a checklist for assessing journals. The website is supported by an international group of publishers and others who support quality journal publishing.
Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
Look for the orange DOAJ seals and green check marks for journals which have been verified to use best practices in publishing.
Library Databases and Predatory Journals
Most library databases include only articles from reputable journals and most library databases make public the list of journals they index. Here are two ways to use those lists:
- Before you submit an article to a journal, check to see if that journal is indexed in the database(s) you use.
- If you find an article from a source other than a database, check to see if that journal is indexed in the database(s) used most in that academic discipline.
Google Scholar does not make judgments about the journals it finds and predatory journal articles have appeared in Google Scholar results. Before you use an article found in Google Scholar, evaluate the journal using the resources above.
Need help determining if a journal is reputable?
The librarians at the Joseph W. England Library will help you to determine if a particular journal is reputable or predatory. Use the Ask a Librarian link on this page to send us a message.