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Predatory Publications: Predatory Journals Home

This guide aims to assist in identifying and avoiding predatory conferences.

What are Predatory Journals?

Predatory open-access publishing is an exploitative open-access academic publishing business model that involves charging publication fees to authors without providing the editorial and publishing services associated with legitimate journals (open access or not).

(, accessed on 08/05/2018)

How do I Identify a Predatory Journal?

The Department of Higher Education and Training  have already compiled a list of Accredited Journals for your convenience:

If a journal does not appear in this list, check the link below on how to identify a predatory journal:

Also consider:

  • Invitation to publish via overly flattering e-mails
  • Deception/hijacking – they use the same title as a well-known existing journal
  • Broad journal title – includes subject fields not normally grouped together
  • Charge exuberant author fees – more than $5,000.
  • High acceptance rate – more than 50%
  • Rapid publication – little or no peer-review
  • Authors are not required to rework material – publish without changes
  • No ISSN or DOI (digital object identifier)
  • Editorial board members
    - no affiliation, experience or contact detail
    - Gmail or yahoo e-mail addresses (not academic)
    - do these people know they are on the Board?
  • Fake websites
    - do not exist
    - poorly maintained
    - spelling mistakes
    - dead links
  • Proof of peer review
  • Indexed by typical databases in the field
  • Journal claims to have an impact factor – but no way of confirming this
  • Trust your professional judgment

            If something feels wrong, it probably is!


- Combatting predatory academic journals and conferences

A report by the Interacademy partnership (IAP), 2022.


The Extent of South African Authored Articles in Predatory Journals

A Research article by Johann Mouton and Astrid Valentine, 2017.

Tips to Avoid Predatory Journals and Conferences

This article is a summary of a full-length guide, complete with a full list of references, by Sarah Eaton, 2018.

Avoiding Predatory Journals and Questionable Conferences

A Resource Guide by Sarah Eaton, 2018.