Identifying predatory publishers
How do I identify if a journal is genuine or predatory?
Jeffrey Beall, the author of the famous Beall’s list has specified a detailed list of factors that indicated the authenticity or the predatory nature of a journal. Some of the key factors that help determine if a journal is predatory are:
1. The scope of interest includes unrelated fields in a single journal such as non-biomedical subjects alongside biomedical topics
2. The journal website is faulty, with several language, spelling and grammar errors.
3. Images used on the website are not clear or are distorted/fuzzy. They may also use licensed images they are not authorized to use.
4. There is no clarity about the manuscript handling process on the website.
5. There is no digital manuscript submission process in place, manuscript submission is usually requested through websites.
6. They ensure rapid publication. Which is a clear indicator of the lack of a peer review process in place.
7. There is no mention of a retraction policy on the website.
8. They offer low article processing/publication charges i.e < 150 USD
9. They do not have an authentic official email id, they use gmail or yahoo email id’s.
10. No individual is identified as an editor
11. Institute affiliation of the editor and editorial board members is missing.
12. The editorial board is similar to another journal
13. No indexing in databases such as DOAJ
14. No mention or clarity on the author fees.
15. Republishes papers published elsewhere
16. Author guidelines are plagiarized from other publishers
17. No clarity on the licensing policy information
18. They do not used standard identifiers such as DOI or ISSN number.
19. No membership with any industry association
20. Journal title is very similar to a popular journal title.
This list of criteria is not exhaustive and you can visit https://beallslist.weebly.com/uploads/3/0/9/5/30958339/criteria-2015.pdf to access the detailed list of criteria to identify predatory journals.