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Predatory Journals & Publishers

Journal Check

Need help determining the validity of a journal? The Health Sciences Librarians can help. Use the button below to submit a journal title to be checked by one of our librarians.

Journal Check

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Predatory Journals & Publishers

Predatory Journals and Publishers have been increasing at an alarming rate. But while they have become more known about, they are still taking advantage of researchers that are looking to publish.

Before you choose a journal to publish be sure you can recognize the warning signs of Predatory Journals.


Characteristics of Predatory Journals

Characteristics What to watch for
Solicits for publications

Random emails from odd email addresses requesting publication (sometimes at a very quick turnaround). Many times these emails will end up in your spam folder. For example, the following is from an actual email:

Hope you are doing well and very good in health.

Well, we are in need of only one article to release an upcoming issue Volume 5 Issue 4 on 20th July 2022. Is it possible for you to support us with your 2-page opinion or mini review for this issue?

I believe in you that; your one article brings out the best achievement to our Journal.

Peer Review Policy Poorly defined peer review policy; often low quality review and promises to be a speedy process.
Spelling & Grammar Mistakes Email correspondence, website, and guidelines contain spelling and grammar errors. Websites are often poorly designed and difficult to navigate.
Publisher details Details for publisher location are missing and often do not match other location details.
Broad, odd, or inconsistent scope Broad scope of content which may not match title.
Similar Sounding Titles Journal title and website are very similar to an existing journal.
Impact Factors Journal cites impact factors such as Global Impact Factor (GIF) and Index Copernicus Value.

Table adapted from: Berger, M. (2017). Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Predatory Publishing but Were Afraid to Ask. Publications and Research.

Tips for Evaluating Journal Quality

  • Remember that not all low quality journals are open access journals.
  • Ask a librarian to investigate and provide details about the journal, such as impact factor.
  • Look up the journal in Ulrich's serial directory to find information about the journal's content, publishing frequency, and indexing status.
  • View the journal's web page to find out about its editorial board and reviewing process. Read sample articles to assess quality.
  • Cross check the journal web page with information about the journal in the ISSN portal.
  • Visit the International Academy of Nursing Editors (INANE) website to view a database of vetted nursing journals.
  • Check Beall's List (archived) of potential predatory journals, or see if the journal or publisher is listed in the DOAJ or DOAB.


Adapted from: Miller, E., & DeBerg, J. (2017). The Perils of Predatory Publishing: Views and Advice from an Editor and a Health Sciences Librarian. Pain management nursing : official journal of the American Society of Pain Management Nurses, 18(6), 351–352.

Check. Example of a Potenetial Predatory Journal

Screenshort of British Journal of Medical & Health Sciences


Potential Warning Signs:

  1. Journal title is very similar to other journals
  2. No list of the latest published articles in the journal; just a call for submissions
  3. While this journal is listed in the ISSN portal, pay attention to other clues that point to its likely predatory status.

Check #2

Screenshot of BJMRH


Potential Warning Signs:

  1. A Google search of California South University reveals it is not a legitimate institution
  2. Image appears to be digitally altered

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