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Last Updated: Sep 19, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Predatory Open Access Print Page

What is "Predatory" Open Access?

Predatory publishers "publish counterfeit journals to exploit the open-access model in which the author pays. These predatory publishers are dishonest and lack transparency. They aim to dupe researchers, especially those inexperienced in scholarly communication. They set up websites that closely resemble those of legitimate online publishers, and publish journals of questionable and downright low quality. Many purport to be headquartered in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada or Australia but really hail from Pakistan, India or Nigeria." Nature. 2012 Sept. 13; 489(7415): 179.


Determining if a Publication is Legitimate

There is no single criterion for evaluating the reputation and legitimacy of a publication. Consider the following starting points.

  1. Contact the Health Sciences Library's free Writing Consultant Service at, and ask about quality indicators for publication(s) you are considering.
  2. Review the journal's website for quality, spelling, grammar and transparency. Are editors clearly listed along with their credentials? Is the peer-review process surprisingly fast?

For more detailed information

LSU Health New Orleans Library has information on predatory publishing.

Grand Valley State University has an excellent list of quality indicators for journals.

Thomas Jefferson University, Scott Memorial Library offers a Predatory Publishing guide.


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