How to Avoid Predatory Journals: A Five Point Plan

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By: Jocalyn Clark, Executive Editor, Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition at icddr,b

Increasingly, I’m asked to advise and assist with the problem of predatory journals. While it’s probably only an annoying nuisance to many in the developed world, the increasing number of spam emails inviting articles and conference participation is beginning to feel like a potentially serious problem for developing world scientists and institutions. This demands action, as Richard Smith and I argue in a recent editorial in The BMJ. I recommend a five point plan for researchers to avoid predatory journals, which involves “doing your homework” to check the credibility of a journal or publisher, and always being sceptical of unknown journals. To distinguish legitimate from predatory journals, here are some useful sources of information—none of which are adequate on their own… read more