Scam Journals and Publishers

Scholarly Open Access is a website run by Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at Auraria Library at the University of Colorado Denver, that provides “critical analysis of scholarly open-access publishing.” In other words, it lists and discusses journals and publishers that look highly suspect, some of which may just be scams. (via David Boonin)

Asking some basic questions about publishing will help you avoid such journals, such as: (1) Have you used material from the journal in your own research? (2) Looking at tables of contents from previous issues, are scholars you know or know of, or scholars at institutions you know or know of, publishing in this journal? (3) Is anyone whose name you recognize on the editorial board? (4) Do your advisors approve? Generally, “no” answers to any of these questions are reasons to at least pause and investigate further, if not select a new prospective venue for your work.

Even more generally, while the past several years have seen the emergence of a number of good open access philosophy journals, such as Philosopher’s Imprint, the Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, and more recently, Ergo, I think there is good reason for younger scholars to just use the heuristic, “be very cautious about new open access journals.”

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9 years ago

Some of these are really terrible. I looked up a couple of them, and they charge $300 a submission. And most of their publications are from scholars working in very poor countries.

That said, I read somewhere that Beall is so opposed to open access publishing that there are some journals on his list that are really not predatory. So while the vast majority are to be avoided, inclusion on the list is not an automatic reason not to submit.