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Gray Publishers

Open Access journals have to be finances somehow just as traditional subscription based journals are.

One way for publishers to finances Open Access journals is to use APC or Article Processing Charge. The cost for publishing is paid by the author instead of the reader. Many big publishers such as Springer use this model and there strange with that. However, this financial model together with added demands for Open Access from research funders has created a marketplace for a number of predatory publishers and journals.

Gray or Predatory publishers and journals abuse the research community for their own economical gain and do not bother about the scientific quality. They act in an unethical way. Predatory publishers and journals undermine the credibility of research. Even traditional subscription based journals may be predatory.

As a researcher it might be difficult to keep updating yourself of the news in the publishing world and which journals are predatory and which are not. We at the library have created a manual to help you judge whether a journal is predatory or not. You can always contact the library or Pieta Eklund when in doubt.

Predatory Publisher Checklist

Use the following questions to determine whether a publishers is predatory or not.

  • Is the invitation to publish generic?
  • How is the language in the invitation? 
  • Who has received invitations? 
  • Does the subject and scope of the journal suit your research interests? 
  • What is the journal called?Does the name implicate too broad a scope? 
  • Where is the journal indexed (made searchable)? Is it plausible? Check!
  • How much does it cost to publish in the journal?
  • Who is editor-in-chief? Google!
  • Who are the members of the editorial board? Check them!
  • If you agree to be a part of the editorial board,what are the conditions?
  • What does the contact information for the publisher/journal look like? (e.g. E-mail)
  • Who has published in the journal before?
  • What have these authors published in the journal and what have they published before?
  • Does the researcher have a profile on some of the social media sites?
  • Can you find the researcher’s home institution?
  • What information can be found in the journal regarding the peer review process? 
  • How quick is their peer review process?
  • Are the published articles well-written?
  • What does the reference list look like? 
  • Are there a lot of self-citations?
  • Are they citing within the journal? External citations, in general, are better.
  • Do the articles have high enough scientific quality for you to be interested in publishing in the journal?
  • Is the publisher a member of OASPA?