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The University Writing Center (UWrite): Predatory Publishers/ Conferences

Predatory Publishers

What do we mean by the term 'predatory publisher'?

The University of Cambridge provides the following definition:

So-called predatory publishers are a growing phenomenon in the world of academic publishing. There is no one standard definition of what constitutes a predatory publisher but generally they are those publishers who charge a fee for the publication of material without providing the publication services an author would expect such as peer review and editing. Missing out on these important steps can undermine the final product and perpetuates bad research in general and exploits the Open Access publishing model.

Predatory publishers typically contact potential authors directly via email to offer their services and encourage publication with many starting to branch out into offering academic conferences. To the researcher eager to make an impact with their work these can seem like very tempting offers but they often come with little academic reward.

Predatory Publisher Lists

The sites listed below provide comprehensive lists of what they deem to be predatory journals and publishers. Please note that some of these may be disputed and it is therefore the responsibility of the researcher to establish their credibility or otherwise.

Think Check Submit

Think. Check. Submit. 

This site helps researchers identify trusted journals for their research.
Through a range of tools and practical resources, this international, cross-sector initiative aims to educate researchers, promote integrity, and build trust in credible research and publications.

Is it reputable?

So called 'white lists' attempt to include journals and publishers which they deem to be reputable, but it is ultimately your job as a researcher to make the final determination.

Journal Evaluation Tool


Retraction Watch

Final Thought

It's one thing to unwittingly submit your paper to a predatory journal/ conference, but to do it knowingly is a completely different thing, at least from an ethical perspective. If you are being offered immediate results (published paper/ conference presentation) and recognition, all may not be as it seems. Similar to an investment with guaranteed high returns or the latest diet fad, it is important to question publications and conferences which promise so much for so little in such a short space of time. As Shakespeare said in the Merchant of Venice (1596), "All that glisters [glitters] is not gold"! 

The worst of all deceptions is self-deception - Plato

Predatory Conferences

Videos and Webinars

How to spot a predatory publisher (University of Cambridge)

Predatory Publishing and How to Avoid It (University of South Dakota)

What is Predatory Publishing?