Author beware: The rise and spread of “predatory journals”
In recent years, a growing phenomenon termed “predatory journals” has presented a threat to the integrity of scientific publishing. This article describes this problem and presents advice about how to recognize legitimate journals.
Thousands of journals publish scientific articles. Most of these journals offer important services, chiefly the expert peer review of articles and the scrutiny of submissions by an experienced editor. Many journals have long histories and good reputations.
However, the development of the internet has enabled various fraudulent activities, and the academic sphere has not been immune from this trend. Opportunists have established numerous online-only, open-access journals that exist only to extract publication fees from authors. These predatory journals do not offer rigorous peer review or editorial oversight, and they publish almost any articles that are submitted, regardless of the quality of the research.
Having an awareness of this problem is essential, because predatory journals are rarely indexed on the PubMed search engine and have non-existent impact factors. Thus, if your research is published in such a journal, other scientists may not be able to read it, and predatory journals have a poor reputation, so it is advisable to avoid being associated with them.
The table below provides some guidance on how to differentiate between legitimate journals and predatory ones.