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Predatory journals — also called fraudulent, deceptive, or pseudo-journals — are publications that claim to be legitimate scholarly journals but misrepresent their publishing practices.
Publishing in a predatory journal can affect your professional reputation because your work is not likely to be cited, thereby affecting your H-index score (an author metric that measures how well you are doing as an author). Publishing in a predatory journal can also make your research harder to find.
The goal of predatory publishers is to convince authors to pay an article processing charge (APC) while performing the least amount of work possible on the publisher’s side. This can include:
Since many legitimate publishers will not accept previously published articles, all your hard work and research is wasted. Some predatory journals will offer to sell back your intellectual property at an exorbitant price, but I would not recommend this practice, as, ethically, they have already proven they cannot be trusted.
There is NO 100% guarantee or cast iron way of identifying a journal as being predatory or not. Predatory publishing is big business and many have become very adept at passing themselves off as genuine products. The best thing you can do is identify potential red flags and make an informed decision based on those. If in any doubt, always err on the side of caution.
New journals struggle to show reputation and, though genuine, may raise a lot of the above red flags. In this case, double your efforts to at least verify the credentials of the editorial board and journal publisher to determine authenticity. However, being new is also a potential red flag as predatory journals are being created all the time as their previous predatory journals have gained notoriety.