Q: What happens if I don't want to pay a predatory journal?
I submitted a paper to a journal. Upon request, they waived the full fees. All these talks occurred on email. However, they later published the article without informing me, and after two weeks, sent an invoice. I found out that it’s a predatory journal. I have not signed any copyright form and don’t wish to submit to another journal. What happens if I don’t pay now? What are the consequences? I don’t really care about the paper; I just don’t want any legal troubles. Again, the article is already published, they promised a waiver initially, but are now asking for payment.
It’s great that you are clear about what you want: no legal troubles. Don’t worry, there are typically no legal troubles. Predatory journals are in no/little position to initiate legal action because then, their own illegitimacy will come to the fore, and there may well end up being legal action against them (as you can read here). At the most, they will threaten you via mails/calls, including saying that they will inform your supervisor/institute. You already sound resolute, so we believe you will continue staying your ground. Just inform your supervisor/institute so that they are in the loop and can advise/guide you as necessary. Don’t worry there too; they well now that many an ECR falls prey to a predatory publisher and have the requisite responses in place. For the future, you may keep this checklist handy: 10 Point checklist to identify predatory publishers
And to know other researchers’ experiences, you may go through these previous queries:
- How should I deal with a predatory publisher?
- What happens if I don't pay the article fee to a predatory publisher?
All the best for a smooth resolution!