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Predatory Journals and Publishers

The rapid and widespread adoption of online publishing means there are now more publishing opportunities, but also more deceptive practices.

Avoid predatory practices

When choosing a publisher don’t become prey to predatory practices! Predatory journals offer to publish your work online in a non- or improperly-peer-reviewed journal for a fee. Their staff often do not have expertise in the field. They offer quick exposure without applying legitimate peer-review, and take authors’ money and sometimes copyright by posing as legitimate journals.

It’s widespread

Unfortunately predatory practices in online publishing are widespread. Academics are often targeted by fake journals offering to publish articles or other research. Before choosing a publisher, learn how to evaluate journal quality.

Read one academic’s experience with a predatory publisher: Alan H. Chamber’s ‘How I Became Easy Prey to a Predatory Publisher’ in Science Magazine, May 9, 2019.

Identify Predatory Publishers

Use these resources to identify, and avoid, predatory publishers.

Cabell’s Predatory Reports

Cabell’s Predatory Reports is a searchable list of journals that have been independently investigated and flagged for predatory practices. We subscribe to this resource specifically so that you can check it for predatory publishers as you consider submitting your work to a journal and so that you can avoid citing such publications.

Cabell’s evaluation criteria.

Evaluation Rubric

You should always actively evaluate a publication as you interact with it. To determine where a journal falls on the scale of predatory practices, use Loyola Marymount University Library’s journal evaluation rubric.


Predatory journals often pose as reputable open access journals. Open access means that materials are available to read online free of charge; it often carries less restrictive author copyright and licensing barriers than traditional publication models. Search the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) for high quality, peer reviewed Open Access research publications. DOAJ covers all open access academic journals which use appropriate quality controls.

DOAJ Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.