What Is Predatory Journal? | SULTAN ABDUL SAMAD LIBRARY
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What is Predatory Journal?

By: Siti Noorhaniza Hamdan (Senior Librarian, Research and Information Services Division) and Roziana Shamsuri (Senior Librarian, Research and Information Services Division)



Predatory journals, often known as fraudulent, deceitful, or pseudo-journals, are periodicals that falsely advertise themselves as reputable scholarly journals and engage in unethical publishing activities.


Tips to identify predatory journal

1. Take a good look at their website

Always check the website thoroughly. Often a tell-tale sign of a predatory journal is the mistakes in both spelling and grammar on their website. Their published articles often contain poorly copy-edited and numerous typographical or grammatical errors. In addition, such errors can be found on the journal’s website, which also commonly include broken links. Poor use of language shows a low professional standard.

 2. Clarify the journal name

The journal name cannot be confused with another journal. If you are unable to distinguish from another with a similar name, please avoid it.

 3. Verify the journal 

The credible journal is indexed in more than one subject database for examples: Scopus, Journal Citation Report, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. Often a good journal is also a member of DOAJ, COPE, OASPA or STM.

4. Check the journal's contact information

The journal's website must provide complete contact information including verifiable address.  Avoid journals that give little contact information.

5. Look up the members of the editorial board

The editorial board is listed with their full names and institutional affiliation. To be sure, please contact a few and inquire about their experience with the journal

6. Peer review process and publication schedule

The journal states whether it is peer reviewed/edited and has a review policy listed. Beware of promises of quick peer review as this can be the mark of a publisher who values profit over quality 

7. Verify email address

The journal, its editors and staff all have institutional or journal affiliated e-mail address. Avoid non-professional and non-journal affiliated e-mail address such as @gmail.com or @yahoo.com.

8. Author fees

These should be clearly stated and should be charged to authors only after their article has been accepted. A journal that requests an upfront fee at the submission stage, before the article is approved for publication, may be predatory.


What to do if mistakenly submitted to a predatory journal

  1. Do not make any payments or sign any agreements.
  2. Request the predatory journal to withdraw the paper immediately
  3. Seek advice from supervisor and senior researchers.
  4. If the journal threatens legal action, confidently ‘counter-threaten’ them. 


Free resources to identify predatory journal 


Subscription resources to identify predatory journal

  • Scopus : https://www.scopus.com/
  • Title Suppressions in InCites JCR : https://help.incites.clarivate.com/incitesLiveJCR/JCRGroup/titleSuppressions.html
  • Journal Citation Reports (JCR) : https://jcr.clarivate.com/



  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0192623320920209?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%20%200pubmed
  2. https://beallslist.net/how-to-recognize-predatory-journals/
  3. https://publicationethics.org/case/withdrawal-accepted-manuscript-predatory-journal

Date of Input: 30/03/2023 | Updated: 07/11/2023 | khairul_zul


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