About predatory journals and conferences

Predatory Journals and Conferences Guide

The library has created a guide on how to detect predatory journals and conferences that is available on the web. Feel free to use it when evaluating invitations from journals and conferences. The guide is built around some parameters you can use when you are making your evaluation.

What are predatory journals?

For a long time, there was no established definition of what constitutes a predatory journal. But in an article published in Nature December 2019 leading scholars and publishers from ten countries agreed on a definition of predatory publishing:

Predatory journals and publishers are entities that prioritize self-interest at the expense of scholarship and are characterized by false or misleading information, deviation from best editorial and publication practices, a lack of transparency, and/or the use of aggressive and indiscriminate solicitation practices.

Problems with predatory journals and conferences

The problem with predatory publishers and journals is that they undermine the credibility of scientific research. These publishers offer dishonest researchers, and researchers with for example a political agenda, a platform that seems credible and respectable. There are several reasons why you should not publish in these journals:

  • you don't get the dissemination you want since the journal is not indexed in any database relevant to your research (it will therefore not be found in any searches in commonly occurring databases within your field).
  • your reputation can be called into question; Other researchers see where you have been published and may begin to doubt your research and its quality.
  • you may find it more difficult to qualify for the next level in your academic career, apply for jobs at other universities or receive research funding.
  • the university gets a bad reputation when it comes to quality review; The university does not receive any or few points in a quality review aimed to evaluate its research output.

Parameters to evaluate

When you receive an invitation to a journal or conference, there are some parameters to consider:

  • Invitation and call for papers
  • Publisher and journal reputation
  • Journal subject area
  • Searchability and indexing
  • Quality of published articles
  • Review process
  • Impact factor
  • Editorial board
  • Journal website

A longer description of how to think about these parameters is given in the Predatory Journals and Conferences Guide.