What is Predatory Publishing?
"Predatory Journals" encourage researchers with mass e-mails and professional websites to publish articles and pay a publication fee, but without taking adequate quality assurance measures.
Scientists should carefully consider the choice of a suitable journal. The publisher, the editorial board and the peer review process should be transparent and understandable.
How can you recognize predatory journals?
In order to avoid accidental publication in a predatory journal, you should pay attention to some characteristic features in advance. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), in which only quality-assured open access journals are listed, enables a first assessment.
The following useful criteria for assessing the quality of a scientific journal are taken from the "Think Check Submit" initiative:
- Do you or your colleagues know this magazine or have you already read articles in the past?
- Can you easily find the latest articles in this magazine (for example using general search engines)?
- Are articles found in the bibliographical databases relevant to your subject (for example Web of Science or PubMed)?
- Is the publisher's name clearly stated on the magazine's website? Can you easily identify and contact the publisher (phone, email, post)?
- Is an editorial board identified, and are you aware of the members, at least by name, as experts in your field? Do these people refer to their work for the magazine on their own websites?
- Does the magazine provide clear information about its peer review process?
- Is the ISSN correct? The International Standard Serial Number International Center lists existing ISSNs.
- Is the publisher a member of a recognized initiative such as B. the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) or the Open Access Scholarly Publishers’ Association (OASPA)?
- Does the publisher state what costs are incurred for which services and when these are invoiced?
- Science media center – Fact Sheet
- FAQs of the Helmholtz Community
The blacklist "Beall's List" was always controversial due to the lack of transparency and harsh judgments. It is no longer maintained and is frozen at the January 2017 level. But if a publisher or magazine is listed there, you should take the opportunity to take a closer look at the magazine.
Similar activities are pursued by “Predatory Conference Organizers”, who organize dubious conferences and encourage researchers to participate and participate in these events. The Think.Check.Attend tool is available to check the quality of a conference.