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Predatory Publishers

This is an information resource for the those who attended our Predatory Publishing Panel.

What is predatory publishing?

A predatory publisher exploits the academic need to "publish or perish" with excessive costs, false or misleading claims about quality, and little regard for scholarship. 

  • Their primary goal is to make money.
  • They do not care about academic quality or peer review.
  • Often misrepresent the impact factor, the review process, and indexing.
  • The author's works are less used/cited due to a lack of scholarly acceptance and indexing.

When you login to Cabell's you can click Predatory to see a list.

Predatory in Cabelll's

Qualities of a Scholarly Journal

It is somewhat complicated to identify a predatory journal, but easier to identify a scholarly journal.

  • Professionalism: Journal looks professional with an ISSN and DOI's on the articles.
  • Academic Quality: Research the journal in Ulrichsweb, Web of Science. Check the impact factor.
  • Scholarship: Check the caliber of work, peer review process, and credentials of the editorial board.
  • Discoverable: Can this journal be found in databases from EBSCO Academic Search, ProQuest Central, or Gale Onefile?
  • Fee schedule: Legitimate journals will have a clear fee schedule on their website.

Open Access Publishing

Just because they charge for OA Gold, does not make them a predator.

Evaluate the journal and determine the level of scholarship and truthfulness. Some predators sell OA Gold that is low quality, has no peer review, and may not even be permanently accessible.


There are two paths to Open Access

OA Green OA Green - "Self-Archiving" preserves the author's version in an Institutional Repository.

OA Gold OA Gold - Preserves publisher edited and peer-reviewed version.  May require author costs.

Tools to check publishers

Want to know the submission guidelines, check Cabell's.

Want to check for predatory publishers and journals, check Cabell's.

Want to know the peer-review and publisher status, check Ulrichsweb.

Want to know the journal impact factor, check Web of Science.

For more help with journal analysis, explore our Guide on Journal Analysis.


This Guide is a starting point. Determining which publishers are worthy and which are predatory is up to you.

We would like to thank Iowa State University Library and Eastern Michigan University Library for the excellent guides on predatory publishers.

Macdonald-Kelce Library - The University of Tampa - 401 W. Kennedy Blvd. - Tampa, FL 33606 - 813 257-3056 - - Accessibility