Caution “Suspicious Journals”

Caution "Suspicious Journals"

In recent years, as open access is being promoted, Open Access journals (OA journals) which allow readers to read the papers for free by the author paying for the post fee have been increasing. Along with this, the increase in "predatory journal" ,which aimes at the profit from this posting fee has become a problem.

What is "predatory journal"?

"Predatory journal" is a malicious journal that exploits the Open Access buisiness model. This targets the Article Processing Charge (APC) paid by the author. Many predatory journal editors do not conduct proper peer-review. That is why the quality of the submitted papers is not guaranteed.
In addition, most predatory publishers pretend to be reputable publishers of OA journals in various ways: "they use a well-known researcher's names as editional committee without permissions", "use an evaluation index similar to Impact Factor", "use a logo or name very similar to a famous academic journal", and so on. To avoid troubles related "predatory journals", you need to pay attention to identification of a journal you are going to post your article to.

What troubles can happen?

  • Publication of articles in predatory journals may cause the authors or their institutions to lose their trust.

  • Authors may be changed unreasonably high fee by posting their articles to "predatory journal".
  • If you post your article to "predatory journal", withdrawal of the article or resubmission to another journal is not permitted.
  • There is no guarantee of stable access to articles.
  • Since the non-guaranteed articles become easy to access, peer-reviewed articles and scholarly journals may lose their trusts.
  • You are invited to attend a predatory conference for the purpose of your participation fee.

How do we avoid troubles related to "predatory journals"?

This journal might be "predatory journal"・・・Check the following lists before your submission

・Information about fee, such as APC, is not specified.

・The contact information is not written. Free mail is used.

・The period from peer-review to publication is too tight.

・The target field is too wide.

・The information about editing and peer-review is not clear.

・The name of the journal and other information are very similar to other famous journals.

・The name of the editor or the journal are not contained in the checklists or databases (As for the checklists or databases, please refer the lists below).

Reliable checklists and databases

  • Think Check Submit
  • This is a campaign to support postings to trusted journals. You can check the credibility of the journal with it.

  • DOAJ(Directory of Open Access Journals)
  • This is a database with which we can search OA journals for free. This database contains more than 13,000 journals (as of 2019.5.23). There are strict screening for the record.

  • Web of Science:Muster Journal List
  • This is a free tool to search journals belonging to Web of Science, the world's largest academic literature database.

Is the publisher of the journal which you are going to contribute a paper to registered in the following organizations?

Reference information

Materials about "predatory journal" published by Hokkaido University and Hokkaido University Library

【Further help and information】Hokkaido University Library, Research Support Division E-mail : jsa[at]