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Predatory Journals & Questionable Conferences

This guide will help you identify predatory journals and questionable conferences (Author: A. Megwalu; Contributor: G. Basu)

How to Withdraw Your Work from a Predatory Journal?

It is very difficult to withdraw your work from a predatory journal once it is published. If your paper is already published, you have most likely transferred either the paper's copyright or a very wide license to the original journal. You can probably force the predatory journal to retract the paper, but if you want the copyright you will have to ask for it back, and it is legally up to them whether they want to give it back or not.

Most journals have a policy of only accepting works which have not already been published. Therefore, even if you have retracted your work from a predatory journal after it is published, it is up to the editors of the second journal to make an exception to the rules and publish your paper. It is best to contact the editors of the second journal and explain the situation prior to submitting your work for consideration.  


Steps for Withdrawing your Work from a Predatory Journal

1. If you have submitted their work to a suspicious journal, you should not pay the publication charges without first confirming the legitimacy of the journal. The journal may claim that its office is in the USA or UK, while providing a bank account number in a South Asian country. Therefore, you should be careful before paying anything to the journal.


2. If a submitted paper has been accepted by a predatory journal, you should never sign a copyright agreement with the journal or publisher. In some cases, writing to the journal to withdraw the submitted or accepted manuscript before its publication may also be successful.


3. If your paper is published online by a predatory journal, you may write to the office of the predatory journal and ask them to withdraw the paper from their website. Although you are not guaranteed to get a response from a predatory journal, their paper might be taken down from the website. This advice is supported by the Committee on Publication Ethics and has proven to be successful. The predatory journal, in some cases, may ask the you to pay a withdrawal or retraction fee, but you should resist this and continue to insist that the journal retract their article.


Memon, A. R. (2018). How to respond to and what to do for papers published in predatory journals?. Science Editing5(2), 146-149.