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The University of Arizona

What is a Predatory Journal?: Evaluating Journal Integrity.

A predatory journal is one that a publisher will accept virtually any article as long as they are paid to publish that article. That doesn't mean that any journal that asks for money to publish an article is a predatory journal. This guide is designed to

Evaluating Journal Integrity.


Table: Guidelines for Evaluating the Integrity of a Journal


What to Look For

Red Flags

Who is the Editor in charge of journal content?

  • A person who has a reputation in the discipline.
  • Direct contact information for the Editor is provided.
  • You cannot find any evidence of the Editor’s standing in the discipline.
  • There is no contact information.

What is the journal’s process for assuring quality of content?

  • A clear description of the process for review of manuscripts prior to
  • publication is stated. The names and duties of editorial advisory or review panel members are listed.
  • A promise of rapid review and publication (quality reviews take time).
  • Mystification of those who are involved in the review process.

Does the journal have sound business and publishing practices?

  • The publisher/journal is on Beall’s List at Scholarly OA.
  • The journal name or other information is suspiciously like another journal.
  • The journal/publisher solicits manuscripts using excessively complimentary emails.

Other Resources:

  • Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association
  • Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Membership (
  • International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM) Code of Conduct (