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Predatory Journals and Publishers

A guide for the identification and evaluation of unsavory research

Journal Impact Factors

Journal Impact Factor refers to the frequency by which an article in a journal may be cited in a given year. A higher impact factor is an indication that a journal is more influential in its field of study. 

Predatory journals often publish fake impact factors, or do not list one at all. You can check a journal title's impact factor via Journal Citation Reports, available through Web of Science. 

Beall's List

In 2010, a librarian named Jeffrey Beall published a list of "Potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers." While Beall took down this list in early 2017, the content is archived via an anonymous source. As it is no longer being updated, please use caution when consulting this list.

Think. Check. Submit.

Not sure where to begin evaluating potentially predatory publishing opportunities?

Think. Check. Submit. provides a framework and checklist to critically evaluate journals. You can find this tool at:

Cabell's Scholarly Analytics

Cabell's Scholarly Analytics is an evaluation source for open access journals. Journals featured on the Whitelist have passed Cabell's evaluation criteria, while those on the Blacklist have been flagged for predatory practices. Complete evaluation criteria for each journal, as well as publication metrics, are available for each title. 

Ulrich's Periodicals Directory

Additional Resources for Identifying Reputable Publications

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

  • Online directory of high quality, peer reviewed open access journals

Open Access Scholarly Publisher's Association (OASPA)

  • Membership directory of rigorously vetted open access publishers

Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

  • Membership directory of editors and journals involved in publication ethics and ethical best practices in publishing

Journals Online (INASP)

  • Organization that evaluates the quality of journals published worldwide, including Bangladesh, Latin America, Africa, and the Phillipines.

African Journals Online (AJOL)

  • Collection of peer-reviewed academic journals published in Africa