Q: How to identify predatory journals?

Detailed Question -

I’m going to submit my paper to the journal Clinics in Mother and Child Health. I have chosen this journal because:

1. I am an occasional reader of this journal,

2. Article Processing Charge is not so high among other open access journals,

3. It has an impact factor.

However, this journal cannot be searched in Pub Med and Web of Science, and only searched in Google scholar. As my affiliated institution is asking us to beware of predatory journals, I want to confirm that this journal is not one of them. How should I identify whether this is a predatory journal or not?

3 Answers to this question

It is great that you are taking care to avoid predatory journals before submitting your paper. To identify a predatory journal, you need to go through the journal's website carefully. The website should look professional, provide the full contact information, including address, of the publisher, as well as a list of the editorial board members along with their affiliations. Also, check if the website includes a clear description of the peer review process and information about the fees. Additionally, look up some of the previous issues of the journal to see if the quality of articles published is good. Finally, ask your supervisor or senior colleagues if they are familiar with the journal and if it is a reputed journal in the field. 

Here is a checklist that will help you identify predatory journals. Submit only when you are sure that the journal is a reputable one.

Related reading:

Answer: I’ve seen 1 journal that has a 3.4 impact factor and the review process is quick, I checked on the website and it seems legit, but when I read the articles, I am surprised to see that articles are very simple, short pages and is unexpected of a 3.4IF paper. When I checked the journal in Beal’s list I found it there. You may consider sample articles also in checking pred or not journals.

You can follow the below checkpoints to identify whether the journal is predatory or legit.

  • Check Jeffrey Beall’s list of spot scammers: Predatory journals and Hijacked journals.

  • Scrutinize their ISSN and DOI’s, as predatory journals do not have standard identifiers like legit journals

  • Predatory journals scope will be too wide as they accept papers covering broader disciplines that are most unusual with legit journals.

  • They are not well-indexed journals.

  • No transparency about article processing charges 

  • Poor online presence 

If you find any of the above-discussed points in your target journal, it is said to be predatory, so step back!

You can refer to this blog for complete information on predatory publishers