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Open Access (OA) Publishing

A brief guide to finding quality open access (OA) journals in which to publish your research

Red Flags of Predatory Publishers


  • Journal titles that are excessively broad to attract more articles and make more money
  • False or insufficient contact information about the publisher
    • Addresses are often “mail drops” in U.S.
  • Made up names of editorial board members–provide inadequate contact information to check them out
    • Worse: include legitimate scholars without their knowledge or permission
  • Hijacked Journals-- a fake website is created for a legitimate journal in order to scam money from researchers
  • Hidden information about author fees
    • Author fees should be clearly listed on the site
    • Example: some predatory journals publish a paper and then send the author an invoice
  • Promised rapid turnaround time
    • Any journal that promises a peer review process that is completed in a week or that your article will immediately be indexed on Google Scholar does not care about the quality of your paper
  • False claims to have an impact factor or use of a made up metric like “view factor"
  • Journals that are only indexed in Google Scholar
    • Google Scholar includes reputable and predatory OA journal articles
    • Some predatory journals may list indexes that do not actually exist
  • Invented publisher names and email addresses that are similar to real publishers
    • Be wary of publisher emails coming from .gmail or .yahoo (or any other free email supplier)


  • Read some of the journal's articles and assess their quality for yourself.
    • You can get in contact with other authors and ask about their experience
    • See if the journal is indexed in MEDLINE 
  • Proceed with caution when you receive emails soliciting papers or asking you to be on an editorial board.
  • Use common sense. If the journal looks questionable, then be sure to do your research.
  • Check out Think Check Submit before you publish