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Unethical publishers

If contacted directly by a publisher consider the reputation and quality of the journal before proceeding. The publishing landscape has become much more complicated with the emergence of open access publishing.

According to Jeffrey Beall,

“Predatory open-access publishers are those that unprofessionally exploit the gold open-access model for their own profit. That is to say, they operate as scholarly vanity presses and publish articles in exchange for the author fee. They are characterized by various level of deception and lack of transparency in their operations.”

Characteristics of unethical publishers 

  • Spam emails soliciting manuscripts/editorial board presence
  • Naming academics on editorial boards without permission or naming fake editors
  • No evidence of peer review process
  • Reveals high fee charges after accepting manuscript
  • Incomplete websites, few contact details, false locations
  • Mimics style of established journals and websites
  • Improper use of DOIs and ISBNs
  • Fake or non-existent impact factors
  • Poor grammar and spelling.


Think. Check. Submit, Think. Check. Submit, Vimeo, <https://vimeo.com/151882443>

   Extra activity: Listen to this podcast

Listen to the Predatory publishers criticised for ‘unethical, unprincipled’ tactics  podcast (soundcloud, 5:04 mins), by ABC Radio National.


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