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Predatory Publishing

What is it?

Ethical behavior in publishing has always been important, but the shift from print to digital publishing has made it easier for to create publishing outlets that are not concerned with promoting integrity in research and its publication (COPE). Such outlets include publishers and/or journals that operate with little to no peer review or editorial oversight, and which prey on the “publish or perish” mindset that exists within many institutions.  

The term “predatory publishing” has been used to describe this phenomenon in scholarly publishing. Because such publishers charge fees to publish, they have created confusion between legitimate, peer-reviewed open access journals and predatory journals. In addition to predatory journals, there has been an increase in invitations of faculty (especially junior faculty) to participate in conferences, or to join an editorial board of a publication, and these may also be examples of  predatory behavior.

For an excellent overview of this topic, you can download this Discussion Document from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) or watch the Introduction to Predatory Publishing video below.

The rest of this guide provides examples of the way predatory publishers communicate, along with tools to help recognize these types of organizations.

If you would like to contribute to or access a shared Google Sheet that tracks actual emails received by University of Notre Dame staff and faculty, please contact me using the Contact information to the left.