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Chemical & Materials Engineering

Characteristics of a Predatory Journal

Predatory journals are likely to possess the following characteristics: 

  1. Wide scope
  2. Claim low author-submission fees 
  3. Unprofessional website
  4. Accelerated publication process
  5. Very short peer-review period
  6. Small or unknown editorial board
  7. Editorial board members are not experts in the journal topics 
  8. Errors in titles and journal descriptions
  9. Asks authors to submit articles via email or a simple form

Steps to identify predatory publishers

What to look for What to check
Contact information
  • Does the journal's website have complete contact information?
  • Does it include a verifiable address? 
Scope of the journal
  • Is the journal's scope multidisciplinary? 
  • Does it combine multiple, unrelated, and wide-ranging fields? 
Editorial board
  • Does it include recognized and affiliated experts? (Tip: Contact a few and inquire about their experience with the journal)
Author fee policy
  • Does the journal charge authors publication fees? (Tip: Find out about such charges before submission)
Quality of articles
  • Does the journal publish good quality research? (Tip: Check with your Dept. Head or Supervisor to gauge quality) 
Peer review process
  • Is the peer review process described on the journal's website? (Tip: Most credible journals are likely to display it)
Indexing information
  • Is the journal indexed or a member of a prominent publisher association? 
  • Does it display an ICV (Index Copernicus Value)? 
Retraction policy
  • Does the journal have a clear policy for recalling articles? (Tip: Check journal policies or it's instructions to authors)
Pitch for authors
  • Does the journal guarantee publication or quick peer review? (Tip: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't)
E-mail invitation
  • Do the journal, it's editors and staff all have institutional or journal-affiliated email addresses?

Adapted from University of Missouri Libraries