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Academic Publishing 101

This guide will guide you through the process of publishing an article in an academic journal.

What is Predatory Publishing?

Predatory publishing is an exploitative practice that targets authors to submit articles to a journal. Predatory publishers often target authors with promises of extremely fast publication, without providing the editorial or publishing services associated with legitimate journals. If it seems to good to be true, it probably is, especially if the publisher is asking for large sums of money!

Characteristics of predatory publishing:

  • Soliciting for articles or asking to serve on editorial boards
    • Especially in the form of badly-edited emails
  • High author publishing fees
  • Little or no peer review of submitted articles
  • Difficult to identify names and/or contact information for journal editors
  • The website seems extremely similar to, but is not, the website of an established journal

comic about being fooled by a fake scholarly journal

From xkcd.com

The Risks of Predatory Publishing

  • The cost associated with high publishing fee
  • Your work may be subject to sub-par peer-review.
  • Your publication will have low visibility or is difficult to find
    • This will lead to poor research impact
  • Your article could disappear when the journal ceases to exist
  • Serving on questionable journal boards will lower reputation
  • Potential embarrassment from falling for a scam
  • Publishing in predatory journals could have an adverse affect on your professional repuatation

Sketchy Publisher Examples

Below are links to a couple of online journal publishers of questionable quality. They can act as useful examples of red flags to look for when evaluating journals.

Email Solicitation Example

Screenshot of an example of a predatory email. This email has poorly formatted name information, multiple spellling and grammar mistakes, and vague and confusing instructions.

This is an example of an actual solicitation email an ATSU librarian has previously received. Note the improper name and title, use of informal language and styling, poor spelling and grammar, and overall confusing message.

Useful Resources

Library Support

If you need help identifying the quality of a journal, reach out to your liaison librarian for assistance. We can help you evaluate the quality of a journal and teach you some tips and tricks for how to evaluate a journal on your own. We can also help you identify high-quality journals that are a good match for your research.