All About Predatory Journals


In this first growing age of technology, there are a lot of questionable and unscrupulous companies out there that purport to provide scholarly publications. They take advantage of authors wishing to get their manuscripts published by sending offers to publish quickly. These publishers have unclear structures and  review processes. Authors pay them publication fees yet they don’t provide editorial and publishing services associated with legitimate journals. Academics and researchers need to be aware of the following:

  • Predatory/questionable Journals
  • Hijacked Journals

Researchers should be careful when approached by some companies to submit articles or serve as editors on editorial Boards. 

Criteria for determining predatory/questionable publishers or journals:

  1. They state that the manuscripts can take only one week or less and show statements that promise rapid publication and quick peer-review
  2. They ask for submission fee not publishing fee and has optional “fast-track” fee based service for expedited peer review which appears to provide assured publication. Publication fee is often not publicly displayed on the website
  3. They try to keep the copyright even if the publication is for open access
  4. Editors are not credible authors or have also published in predatory journals.
  5. Journals are not regular
  6. The journal has a wide coverage of subjects in the title i.e. excessively broad to attract more articles
  7. Their websites are vague and have links and telephone numbers that don’t work.
  8. Publishers use email addresses that end in, or other free email supplier
  9.  They often send spam emails to potential authors soliciting for manuscripts
  10. The publisher fails to state licensing policy information on articles or show lack of understanding of licensing standards such as Creative Commons licenses, and lacks policy for article retraction
  11. They accept your article without scrutiny
  12. All editors may be coming from one region, department or community
  13. Their journals have titles similar to other popular Journals
  14. They use same editorial board for more than one journal
  15. Editors/review board members do not possess academic expertise to qualify them or provide scanty academic information regarding the editors, reviewers and board members.
  16. No policies or practices for digital preservation, meaning that if the journal ceases operations, all the content disappears from the Internet

More information on how to determine predatory/questionable journals/publishers, kindly use this link:

You may also use the Jeffrey Beall’s list of potential predatory journals to guide on questionable publications:

Tools used to distinguish predatory / questionable journals from High Impact Factor Journals

The following tools are used to distinguish predatory/questionable journals from high impact factor journals:

  • Ensure that the  journals are listed in;
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
  • Publisher is member of OASPA -
  • Web of Science and World of Science
  • Scopus/Scimago

You can also use the following link to guide you before you publish in a journal by clicking on,  “THINK, CHECK, SUBMIT” to guide you-


Angela Mumo

Director, Library & Information Services Department

3rd August 2019