How to Recognize and Avoid Potential, Possible, or Probable Predatory Open-Access Publishers, Standalone, and Hijacked Journals

Open access


Introduction. The Internet has enabled an easy method to search through the vast majority of publications and has improved the impact of scholarly journals. However, it can also pose threats to the quality of published articles. New publishers and journals have emerged so-called open-access potential, possible, or probable predatory publishers and journals, and so-called hijacked journals. It was our aim to increase awareness and warn scholars, especially young researchers, how to recognize these journals and how to avoid submission of their papers to these journals.

Methods. Review and critical analysis of the relevant published literature, Internet sources and personal experience, thoughts, and observations of the authors.

Results. The web blog of Jeffrey Beall, University of Colorado, was greatly consulted. Jeffrey Beall is a Denver academic librarian who regularly maintains two lists: the first one, of potential, possible, or probable predatory publishers and the second one, of potential, possible, or probable predatory standalone journals. Aspects related to this topic presented by other authors have been discussed as well.

Conclusion. Academics should bear in mind how to differentiate between trustworthy and reliable journals and predatory ones, considering: publication ethics, peer-review process, international academic standards, indexing and abstracting, preservation in digital repositories, metrics, sustainability, etc.

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