Predatory publishers exploit the emerging acceptance of open-access academic journals by making it attractive to publish (especially in a publish or peril world). They aggressively solicit articles from faculty and researchers with the intention of exploiting authors who need to publish their research findings in order to meet promotion, tenure or grant funding requirements.
The ultimate goal of these publishers is to make a profit - not to promote scholarly research. They have no concern for the quality of work published and typically lack the peer-review process that legitimate journals provide. Articles are often accepted without any changes.
Predatory publishers share common characteristics:
Predatory publishing damages the reputation of the biomedical and pharmaceutical fields due to a lack of comprehensive peer review. It helps create a rise in pseudo science and perpetuates bad research.
When you publish your article with a legitimate publisher, they provide services such as peer-review, archiving, and copyright protection. Predatory journals do not provide such services.
Think. Check. Submit. is a campaign to help researchers identify trusted journals for their research.
Check the publisher's credentials
Once an author has signed a copyright transfer or approves publication of an article in a predatory journal, the chance of having that article removed is highly unlikely. Your might need to take legal action.
If you have submitted an article to a predatory publisher but have NOT signed a copyright agreement, your article can still be published in a legitimate journal. Contact the editor-in-chief of the legitimate journal, explain the situation to them, and seek their guidance.
"Columbia University Copyright Advisory Office Director Kenny Crews urges authors to carefully read their publication agreements, negotiate for the rights they need, and keep a copy of all their agreements" (YouTube video description).
The original version of this guide was created by Ruth Bueter, Serials Librarian at George Washington U. Library. She generously gave me permission to use hers as a template for this guide.