Criteria for determining predatory publishers
One can use the criteria used by Jeffrey Beall for determining predatory publishers. They were used to create the original Beall's list and are used now for the updated lists.
Journal Evaluation Tool
Journal Evaluation Tool is a scoring sheet that anyone can use to determine the credibility of a journal. Follow the simple guide written by the authors to score the journal of your choice.
Rele, et al., LMU Librarian Publications & Presentations 40 (2017).
Salient features of potential predatory journals
- The scope of interest includes non-biomedical subjects alongside biomedical topics
- The website contains spelling and grammar errors
- Images are distorted/fuzzy, intended to look like something they are not, or which are unauthorized
- The homepage language targets authors
- The Index Copernicus Value is promoted on the website
- Description of the manuscript handling process is lacking
- Manuscripts are requested to be submitted via email
- Rapid publication is promised
- There is no retraction policy
- Information on whether and how journal content will be digitally preserved is absent
- The Article processing/publication charge is very low (e.g., < $150 USD)
- Journals claiming to be open access either retain copyright of published research or fail to mention copyright
- The contact email address is non-professional and non-journal affiliated (e.g., @gmail.com or @yahoo.com)
List due to Shamseer, et al., BMC Medicine 15:28 (2017).
Indexing in JCR and DOAJ
Many predatory journals are claiming they are indexed by DOAJ and JCR Master List, while they are not. You should always check whether a journal you want to publish in is telling the truth. If a journal is indexed by JCR or/and DOAJ, that is usually a very good indicator that the journal is not predatory.
Searching DOAJ database is quite easy - you just need to enter the journal's name, ISSN or the journal's publisher. Their search engine is quite flexible. Make sure to search through journals only, unless you want to find an open-access article (see picture below).
DOAJ also offers useful information about the open-access journal, such as what are its publication charges and what is the average time from submission to publication.
Searching JCR Master List is a bit more difficult. Sometimes when you enter journal's title it will not show up in the results. Therefore, it is recommended to use the journal's ISSN.
For example, searching for "NATURE + CULTURE" does not yield any result, as shown below:
However, searching for the journal's ISSN does return the correct result: