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Be alert for Predatory Publishers

Date of news: 13 May 2022

Publishing in open access is increasingly becoming the norm. In some cases, such as (partial) financing by Plan S organizations, it has even been made mandatory. Many traditional publishers (Elsevier, Springer, Wiley) offer the option to publish an article in their journals in open access. However, there are also Full open access publishers. These unjustly have a bad name because of predatory publishers. How to identify them and separate the good from the bad?

What are predatory publishers? These are 'publishers' who abuse the open access publishing model to make money. They request article processing charges (APCs) without organizing proper editorial services and peer review. How can you recognise them and how can the Library experts help you?


Are you considering publishing an article in a Full open access journal? Then check whether it is included in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). And if so, whether the journal has a DOAJ Seal. A Seal means that the journal meets seven strict criteria and it is safe to publish in this journal.


Do you have a positive, or negative, experience with a Full open access journal? The Quality Open Access Market (QOAM) is a database in which you as a scientific author can make your own judgment about the quality of a journal. Authors can fill in a score card.


If a journal does not have a DOAJ Seal or a QOAM rating, it does not necessarily mean that you are dealing with a predatory publisher. However, when in doubt, it is wise to use a checklist. Via the Think.Check.Submit website, you go through a checklist step by step to assess a journal.

Would you rather have us to take a look with you and advise whether a journal or publisher is reliable? Do not hesitate and contact the Library experts via Ask Your Librarian, or the Open Access Officer directly via openaccess@ubn.ru.nl.