Skip to Main Content
+27 21 959

ukwazi 2   

Guide to Open Access Publishing

Selecting trustworthy journals, publishers and conferences

What is a Predatory Publishing?

Predatory Academic Practice 

This practice includes activities such as publishing and conferencing that exploit academic research output for financial gain to the detriment of the academics, researchers and their institutions.

Predatory publishing exploits the principles of Open Access by profiting from a researchers' need to publish and distribute their research. These publishers often charge lower article processing charges (APCs), provide little or no peer review, and promise remarkably short publishing times.  One of their key characteristics is the limited contact information provided.

Common characteristics of predatory practice:

  • Their primary goal is to make money (i.e. there will be fees).
  • They do not care about the quality of the work published (i.e. no or little editing or peer-review).
  • They make false claims or promises (i.e. claims of impact factors and indexing).
  • They engage in unethical business practices (i.e. not as advertised).
  • They fail to follow accepted standards or best practices of scholarly publishing (various).

(O'Donnell, 2012)

Questionable Journals, Publishers and Metrics

Beall’s list of predatory journals, publishers and metrics

While Beall's lists are no longer managed by Beall, they have been archived online since 2016

How to Spot a Predatory Publisher

Think, Check, Submit

Fraudulent Metrics

Fraudulent metrics are identified by the following criteria:

  • Limited information is provided such as physical location, staff and managers and institutional affiliation
  • The metrics generated are not based on unscientific or contrived methods.
  • Google algorithms are sometimes used to determine metrics, which do not distinguish between publishing formats and may include blog posts, social media posts, magazines, newspaper articles, predatory journals as well as legitimate academic journals.
  • Journals pay for the metrics service.
  • The purpose of the metrics service is to profit from journals.
  • Predatory journals usually list fraudulent metrics services on the websites along with other legitimate indexing services.


University of the Western Cape,

Robert Sobukwe Road,



Tel: 021 959 2946