“Predatory journals and publishers are entities that prioritize self-interest at the expense of scholarship and are characterized by false or misleading information, deviation from best editorial and publication practices, a lack of transparency, and/or the use of aggressive and indiscriminate practices.” (Grudniewicz et al., 2019)

Indicators of Predatory/Blacklisted Journals Publishers (Not Exhaustive) Are as Follows:

  • Publisher “About” Information is absent on the journal’s website.
  • Publisher direct marketing or other advertising is obtrusive.
  • Instruction to authors information is not available.
  • Information on peer review and copyright are absent or unclear on the journal’s website.
  • Journal scope statement is absent or extremely vague.
  • No information is provided about the publisher, or the information provided does not clearly indicate a relationship to a mission to disseminate research content.
  • Repeat lead authors in the same issue.
  • Publisher has a negative reputation.
  • Claims to be a peer-reviewed open-access publication but does not provide adequate peer review or the level of peer review promised (some predatory journals repeatedly use a template as their peer review report).
  • Advertises a Journal Impact Factor or other citation metrics on the website that is incorrect or cannot be verified.
  • May advertise an unrealistic timeline for publication.
  • Publishes all articles for which authors pay an APC even if the article is low quality, unrelated to the topic of the journal, or nonsensical.
  • Publishes articles that have many grammar mistakes (little or no copyediting). 7
  • Editorial board includes people who do not exist, do not have credentials relevant to the topic of the journal, have affiliations that cannot be verified or are real people who are not aware that they are listed as members.
  • Lack of transparency about the acceptance process so authors do not how much they will be charged until their article is accepted.
  • Requires authors to sign away their copyright to the article at the time of submission, making it impossible for the author to submit the article to another publisher.
  • Publishes articles submitted before the authors have signed the publishing agreement, then refuses to take the article down if the author withdraws the submission.
  • Removes articles or entire journals from the web without warning or informing.

Resources for Identifying Predatory Journals

  • Cabell's Predatory Reports
    This database identifies deceptive and fraudulent journals. Specialists identify and analyze over 65 behavioral indicators to flag potentially exploitative or dishonest operations. Each entry provides information on how to identify the journal in the real world and a comprehensive report of each behavioral indicator uncovered in the journal’s evaluation.
  • Journal Evaluation Tool
    Includes a rubric and scoring sheet that can be used to review a journal to determine if it is a credible publication.
  • Think. Check. Submit
    Designed to help researchers identify trusted journals for their research through a range of tools and practical resources.


  • Grudniewicz, A., Moher, D., Cobey, K.D., Bryson, G.L., Cukier, S., Allen, K., et. al. (2019). Predatory journals; no definition, no defence. Nature, 576: 201-212.
  • Elmore, S. A., Weston, E. H. (2020). Predatory journals: What they are and how to avoid them. Toxicologic Pathology, 48(4): 607-610.