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Advice on predatory journals and publishers

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Open Access (OA) 'predatory' journals are now part of the scholarly communication landscape. We strongly recommend that University of Manchester researchers always check the credibility of unfamiliar publishers and journals prior to submission.

New journals are launched every year, many of which offer OA. Sometimes a newly launched journal is associated with a well-established publisher or learned society. This connection validates the journal's status. However, an academic journal may emerge from a new enterprise which lacks any prior history or reputation. In such cases journals often offer benefits by adopting new approaches to the publishing process, and they quickly develop a good reputation through endorsements from the academic community and from librarians.  Recent examples of new, trustworthy OA journals are eLife, PeerJ and the Open Library of Humanities.

Although the majority of new journals are legitimate, the credentials of some are questionable. Such journals and publishers are often referred to as 'predatory'. They commonly send spam emails to potential authors, solicit submissions and request payment of Article Processing Charges, but lack any discernible scholarship, academic rigour or credibility.

How to check for 'predatory' journals?

Think.Check.Submit provides a checklist of questions to help researchers identify trusted journals,


Legitimate journals acknowledge their newly formed status and do not attempt to feign reputation by referring to false Impact Factors or inclusion of content in indexing and abstracting services.

Contact the Library

If you are suspicious of a journal or a publisher and require further information or guidance please contact us:

Scholarly Communication Service
The University of Manchester Library
Tel: +44(0)161 306 1517 (internal: x61517)

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