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Arkansas State University

Predatory Publishing: Spotting The Predatory Scam

Predatory publishing is a fast growing problem for scholars. Learn how to spot the predatory scam!

The Predatory Email

Below is an email I have received from a predatory publisher inviting me to submit papers and join the editorial panel:

Predatory Email

Looks pretty legit, right? Not so fast. Let's take a closer look.

Evaluating the Email

Here are the immediate warning signs for this particular journal:

  • Right up top, it promises fast publication. This is a HUGE red flag:
    "Fast Publication"
  • The email is autogenerated and doesn't include my full name or even separates out my name from the other authors.
  • Neither the title nor the description tell me much about the journal: "current and emerging issues in information science and technology" is pretty vague.
  • Odd capitalization and grammar issues.
  • Promises to improve my prestige in my "areas." False promises and vagueness in one sentence!
  • No contact information or title given for the person who sent the email.
  • Email came from generic "paper" email address.
  • Email address does not match url of journal

Another sign that a journal may be predatory is if they're persistent in contacting you. I receive an email once a month:

Monthly Email Invites from Predatory Journal

More importantly, notice that these invites are coming from different addresses? That's not all, every email is sent from a different "person."

Email Signatures


Still uncertain? Visit the journals website for further evaluation.