The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors have published a news item about “Fake”, “Predatory” and “Pseudo” journals.
It includes a definition of these types of journal, and reasons why they pose a threat and should be avoided.
It points to the World Association of Medical Editors’ guidance. WAME discuss places to check a journal out – the now no longer updated Beall’s List of predatory journals, and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) – and using the Think Check Submit checklist, when deciding where to submit. Choosing a journal was also discussed at Carolyn Tarrant’s recent Writing Club.
If you are not sure about the journal you want to submit to, ask colleagues who have experience of being published and knowledge of which journals are the core ones. Your librarians can help too – we can identify core journals, and would be happy to investigate a journal you are thinking of submitting to.
I get emails from what I suspect are predatory journals, inviting me to write an article. Alarm bells ring when I am addressed wrongly (Dear Dr Nockels,) or not at all (Dear, ) . Some of the emails are badly written or edited, and they often approach me for work in fields I am supposed to be an expert in but about which I know nothing. I also worry about journals that claim to cover a strange mix of subjects, like (fictional, these, probably) “International Journal of Microbiology and Lunar Studies” or “Microbiology and Science”.
I suspect that if any reputable journal wanted me to write an invited article, it would approach me in a rather more personal way. Not that this has ever happened, yet, anyway….