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Publishing: Unethical Publishers

Predatory Publishers

Some ‘predatory or deceptive publishers’ have taken the development of the open access author-pays academic publishing model, as an opportunity to make money. These predatory or deceptive publishers are known to:
  • make dubious claims about the quality or credentials of a journal, e.g. citing a pseudo ‘journal impact factor’ purchased from companies such as the Global Institute for Scientific Information (GISI) which could easily be mistaken for a ‘journal impact factor (JIF)’ published by Clarivate Analytics in the InCites Journal Citation Reports database
  • provide limited editorial support
  • fail to meet established standards with respect to peer review
  • charge non-advertised publication fees after accepting an article for publication
  • falsely claim that the publication is listed or indexed by reputable services, e.g. DOAJ, Scopus, Web of Science
  • adopt a journal name that is easily mistaken for that of another established title, or incorrectly identified with an established institution or professional association
  • publish a journal that includes material from multiple disciplines not normally associated together, e.g. International Journal on Recent Trends in Life Science and Mathematics
  • solicit papers from potential authors directly via email. Some legitimate academic publishers might contact authors directly about a relevant special issue of a journal, or announce a new journal, but it is not standard practice

Although Although Beall's List of Predatory Journals and Publishers was discontinued in 2017,  it is being updated anonymously by these two sources with one retaining the original name:

Beall's List of Predatory Journals and Publishers

Stop Predatory Journals

Read about the practices of predatory publishers in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Thanks to Charles Sturt University Library for reuse of some content on this page. 

Vanity Publishers

Higher Degree Research (HDR) students or recent graduates, may receive unsolicited emails from companies offering to publish their thesis. Some of these ‘publishers’ or ‘vanity presses’, provide limited or no editorial input, that is, they do not provide peer-review, or editorial or proof-reading support, marketing or distribution of the book. They generate income by either charging up-front publishing fees, or by the sale of copies to the author.

Publishing your thesis with a ‘vanity press’ such as Lambert Academic Publishing (LAP - an imprint of VDM Publishing) may result in:

  • the loss of Copyright to your work, restricting further publishing from your research in books, conference proceedings or journal articles
  • a poor quality publication that doesn’t meet the requirements of reporting for the internal CDU Research Publications Collection
  • loss of academic credibility / reputation having published with a ‘vanity press’

It is always recommended that you carefully research and evaluate the credibility of a publisher before accepting an offer to publish your thesis. Consult your Supervisor and/or the Library before making any decision.

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