The number of dubious journals (predatory journals) has skyrocketed in recent years. The following strategies are common:
- High publication fees while providing no or insufficient services for scientific and editorial quality assessment
- General lack of transparency regarding quality control, fees, copyright
- Members of the editorial board do not exist, or the names of well-known researchers are used without their knowledge
- Imitation of names and designs of renowned journals
- Use of counterfeit impact factors
- Sending spam emails in which an implausibly fast publication is promised, although an elaborate peer review is supposed to be carried out
Publication in one of these journals endangers the reputation and credibility of researchers and their institutions.
When selecting a suitable journal, it is advisable to check whether the journal or publisher is listed in the following initiatives:
- Directory of Open Access Journals. DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high-quality, Open Access, peer-reviewed journals.
- Open Access Scholarly Publishers’ Association (OASPA)
- Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)
The Open Access team will be happy to advise you if you have any doubts about the quality of an Open Access journal.
SNF Open Access FAQ
The Swiss National Science Foundation has been dealing with this problem for a long time and provides information on how to deal with predatory journals in its FAQs.
Further guidance to assess potential predatory journals can be found under OA Journals (Think.Check.Submit and Journal Score Cards).