Q: How can I get rid of being an editorial board member of a predatory journal?

Detailed Question -

Few years ago I agreed to be an editorial board member in a predatory journal. When I realized my mistake, I tried to resign from this function, but they ignore my emails and I am still listed as one of editors on their website. What can I do in this situation? The publisher is from the USA and I am from Europe and have no experience in dealing with such situations. Is there any institution that can help me with this case in the USA? Thank you in advance for your answer.

1 Answer to this question

The first step in such situations is to request the editor of the dubious journal to remove your name. However, it is not very likely they will respond, as has happened in your case. Have you threatened legal action in your emails to them? In a strongly worded email, you could warn them that you are going to take legal action against them for misusing your name. You could add that you will also spread word about the situation on social media. If they still do not reply, you might have to go ahead and act on those threats!

State this on your online profile: To protect your reputation and raise awareness among other researchers, it might be a good idea to state the misuse of your name by the journal on your personal website or online professional profile page. It could be in the form of a disclaimer that your name is being misused by XYZ journal, advising readers to not acknowledge your association with that journal.

Harness the power of social media: You can post about this situation on your blog (if you have one), Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Get legal help: Association with a predatory journal can tarnish not just your reputation but also the reputation of the institution you are working at. Legally, this issue can be considered fraud, defamation, and misrepresentation, among others. Therefore, consider reaching out to your institution for help. Legal recourse can be expensive, so you might have to request that burden of the legal fees be shared by the institution. Further, as the issue is across countries, it might be a bit complicated but not impossible! The case might need to be filed in the US, so you might need to hire a US lawyer. Make sure you have copies of all your emails with the journal.

Going forward, routinely perform online searches of your name to check if you appear on any journal or conference editorial boards without your knowledge or permission. Advise your colleagues to do the same. Wishing you good luck for the speedy resolution of this problem!