Q: Should I pay a fee to withdraw my accepted manuscript from a predatory journal?

Detailed Question -

I submitted my manuscript to a journal and got an acceptance, but it was revealed to be a predatory journal.

After accepted, I was required to pay an unusually high submission fee (it was higher than the cost shown on the journal website). I had doubts and made investigation, then it was revealed to be a predatory journal.

It is shameful that I have not found that it was predatory until my manuscript was accepted.

I asked the journal to withdraw my manuscript, and got the reply: “We agree to withdraw your journal, but you need to pay 35% of the submission fee. After your payment, we issue a withdraw certification.” They also said that “the withdraw fee is mentioned on our website”, but I cannot find that.

I want to submit my manuscript to another journal, but at present I cannot go to the next step, since it would be regarded as a duplicate submission.

Is there nothing else besides paying withdrawal fee to solve this situation?

Your advice would be appreciated.

1 Answer to this question

In general, it is not a good practice to withdraw your paper at an advanced stage, after it has been peer reviewed. This is because peer review is a voluntary service and it is not fair to waste the valuable time and effort that the reviewers have put in for your paper unless you have a very strong reason for doing so. Some journals, even reputable ones, may charge a fee for late withdrawal.

In your case, your reason for withdrawal is understandable, but you should have made this investigation before submitting to the journal. It is difficult to say what steps the journal will take if you do not pay the withdrawal fees, particularly since predatory journals resort to all kinds of unethical activties. If you do not wish to pay withdrawal charges, it is best to request the journal editor for a total or partial waiver saying that you are not in a position to pay. If the journal editor does not agree, I would recommend paying and getting a confirmation of withdrawal rather than risk being associated with a predatory journal.

Related reading: