scam journals avoidance

Scam journals: how to identify them

You might be well aware of it but in case you are not, there are a lot of scam journals out there which are charging for intending authors to submit manuscripts, often wanting a couple of hundred dollars or so.

What tends to be confusing about them is that they are likely to have a quite similar name to that of a reputable journal. Their stated impact factors are of course not real and they may have an unverifiable list of editorial board members. As they are not archived in major indexes this means that the journals themselves are not cited, which is a waste of your time and effort.

How can you check if a journal is predatory?

There are a couple of sites you can use which will help. For open access journals,

the Directory of Open Access Journals


the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association

should confirm a journal’s authenticity if you are in any doubt.

Different journals have different arrangements for whether they charge to publish your writing. For journals published by very reputable publishers, if your organization subscribes to them, they will not. However, if you don’t belong to an organization which subscribes to a journal, a fee could be charged. This is why some scammers set up what look like journals which are very similar in name to those well-known ones. You are probably too smart to be tricked by any predatory practices, but just in case, the links above are a good starting point to check this out.

On a lighter note

Here are some of those wonderful article titles that keep on appearing from time to time:

Excuse the Aussie slang:

Shipway, R. (2008). Road trip: Understanding the social world of the distance runner as sport tourist. In CAUTHE 2008: Tourism and Hospitality Research, Training and Practice “Where the ‘Bloody Hell’ Are We?” (pp. 281-287). Gold Coast, Qld.: Griffith University.

One more about policy driven terminology:

McLaughlin, H. (2009). What’s in a name: ‘client’, ‘patient’, ‘customer’, ‘consumer’, ‘expert by experience’, ‘service user’—what’s next? British Journal of Social Work, 39(6), 1101-1117.

If you have come across some unusual or distinctly different sounding titles, please send them in to our email.