Skip to Main Content

Faculty and Researcher Resources

Resources, services, and information relevant to faculty, laboratory researchers, and clinical researchers.

Predatory Journals

Unlike high-quality academic journals, predatory journals are primarily concerned with making a profit. They employ poor editorial oversight and peer review practices, and do not conform with the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing as outlined by the World Association of Medical Editors. 

In general, predatory journals can be characterized by the following:

  • Unverifiable and/or unrecognizable editorial board
  • Lack of transparency about:
    • Peer review procedures
    • Fee structure
    • Contact information
    • Creative Commons licensing (for open access articles)
  • Non-existent retraction policy 
  • Non-existent or very low fees for publishing open access
  • Unusually fast review and/or publication turnaround times
  • Aggressive solicitation for content, frequently though emails that are overly flattering, refer to an author's prior publications and state an urgent need for submissions of related content.
  • Poor grammar and spelling in emails and on journal websites

Avoiding a predatory journal

Predatory journals can be challenging to identify and a definitive list of predatory journals is unavailable, but there are several steps to take to vet a journal should there be any doubt about its legitimacy:

  • Confirm that the journal is indexed in Medline.  If it is not a new journal that has not been indexed yet, more investigation is needed.
  • Check the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) if the journal has open access content.
  • Verify the self-reported impact factor listed on the journal's web site, if one is provided. 
  • Use the evaluation tools below to guide your assessment

When in doubt, the Library can assist with investigating a journal.  Please contact us at with the journal title and any specific concerns you may have.

Evaluation tools

Journalytics Medicine & Predatory Reports - published by Cabells, this database covers over 7,000 verified medical journals and 17,000 predatory journals. 

Think, Check, Submit video - a two-minute video introduction to the topic

Journal Evaluation Tool from Loyola Marymount University 

Features Used to Identify Predatory Journals, table of characteristics, from the Mayo Clinic (Mayo Clinic Proceedings, March 1, 2020)