Predatory Publishers Want You – Don’t Fall For This Scam!

Have you received an email similar to the following?  (Names have been removed to protect the not-so-innocent.)

??? Call for Editor-in-Chief, January 2012.  www.???

Dear Researcher/Professor,

??? Publisher Inc. is a publisher of peer-reviewed and open access journals covering a wide range of academic disciplines. ???Pub aims to develop highest quality knowledge-based products and service for the academic, professional, research and scientific communities worldwide. We welcome new journal proposals throughout the year in any fields of science or social science subjects. Moreover, you are welcome to apply for Editor-in-Chief position for our current journals or for the new journals you propose.

Duties of Editor-in-Chief (EiC)

  1. Be able to publish at least 4 issues in a year (Bi-monthly or Quarterly publication)
  2. First issue is expected to be published within 4 months after becoming EiC
  3. Each issue should include 4 or more research papers
  4. Determine and refine scopes and topics for the journal
  5. Collect and attract high quality papers to maintain quality standard
  6. Call for papers from colleagues, academic and professional connections to secure timely publication of journal issues
  7. Recruit editors to ensure timely review of submited research papers
  8. Actively promote the journal to colleagues and associates

Proposals for New (Existing) Journals

Proposals for new (existing) journals should include the following items:
(options marked with * are essential, others can be proposed later on)

  1. Journal title*
  2. Specific aim & scopes*
  3. Proposed editorial board
  4. Journal audience
  5. Expected date for the first issue*
  6. Promotion and managing plan as an Editor-in-Chief*

Please send your CV along with your proposal to editor@???
Please kindly forward this message to fellow colleagues and researchers.

Best Regards,
??? Publisher Inc.

If you answered yes, then you may have been targeted by a predatory publisher.  BEWARE! Jeffrey Beall, Auraria Library’s Metadata Librarian, defines predatory publishers as “those that unprofessionally exploit the author-pays model of open-access publishing (Gold OA) for their own profit.”

How can you recognize a predatory publisher from an introductory email like the one above?  Beall recommends that you watch for the following signs:

1. Typographical and grammatical errors in the email

2. Unwarranted boasting, such as describing a journal as a leading journal in the field even though no one in the field has ever heard of it

3. Unsigned emails, or emails signed by a secretary or by some unknown person or a made up name, or by a person who only uses her or his first name

4. Emails that solicit articles that are not even close to the recipient’s field of study

5. Emails that boast of a quick turnaround time for peer review

6. Emails that don’t mention the author fee that the publisher charges.

7. Emails that ask you to submit an article similar to one you already have published.

8. Emails that have a “chain letter” feel or are dated some weeks or months in the past.

How should you react to these unsolicited requests?  IGNORE THEM!  Clicking the unsubscribe button may result in further unwanted contact.  Delete them manually or set up a rule in your email to delete them without ever seeing them in your inbox. 


[Jeffrey Beall, Metadata Librarian, Auraria Library and Lynne Fox, Education Librarian, Health Sciences Library, University of Colorado Denver]