Predatory Journals and Publishers

On 29 December 2016 Dr Louise de Villiers at the Scientific Grand Round gave a lecture about Predatory Journals and Publishers. 

Predatory publishing is a global industry. Predatory publishers focus on generating profits rather than promoting scholarship. Predatory publishers send spam emails inviting especially young researchers and those from developing countries to publish. The financial implications of publishing with them are often not clear upon submission of manuscripts.

Predatory publishers often use fake credentials and addresses to obscure their true identity and location. The identities and academic credentials of the editors are often obscured or may even be fake. Predatory publishers typically promise certain and fast publication, mainly because peer review is non-existent or superficial. They consequently publish flawed, and even plagiarised, articles or books. For academics, publication in predatory publications may result in financial losses and loss of credibility.

The scope of predatory publishing has widened to include predatory conference offerings. Academics increasingly fall prey to invitations received from predatory, vanity conference organisers to attend a poorly organised conferences with low quality presentations.

There are resources on the internet which can assist authors to distinguish between legitimate and predatory publishers and publications. Check whether a journal is listed as trustworthy on the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) ( One can check whether a publisher is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association ( Beall’s list of probable predatory publishers and journals can be accessed at,

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