Publication Pollution by Predatory Journals


What are predatory journals?

Predatory journals have become a major issue in the world of scientific publications. These journals have been steadily on the rise in recent years, with some estimates showing that they have risen to a staggering 40-50% of all actively published journals. Predatory journals are particularly harmful because they often have little to no quality control, leading unsuspecting published authors to have their work appear in publications of dubious quality.

How do these journals work?

The problem of predatory journals has become acute in recent years due to the ease of self-publishing afforded by the internet. Many of these predatory journals advertise online and claim to provide rapid, simple, and low-cost publication of articles. Peer review and editorial standards may not be adhered to, resulting in poor quality standards for published works. This can be detrimental for authors, as their careers may suffer from publishing in these less reputable journals, and their research may not be respected by the wider scientific community.

How can you detect predatory journals?

  • The most obvious solution is for authors to exercise greater caution before submitting articles to unfamiliar journals. Unfortunately, it is not always easy for authors to distinguish between respectable and predatory publications.
  • The International Society of Publishers provides a list of potential indicators to help authors make more informed decisions. These include the journal’s website design, the speed of publication, and the presence of deceptive and questionable marketing tactics.
  • In addition, it is essential for authors to thoroughly review the journal’s submission guidelines and publication policies to ensure that it meets acceptable standards.
  • Unscrupulous publishers also often use deceptive tactics to lure authors. These could include false promises of quick publication, invitations to authors’ conferences and awards, or unverified claims of high readership or impact. Authors must exercise caution and apply critical thinking before considering such offers.
  • It is also important to remember that there is no guarantee of success; even if papers are accepted, it is still possible that they will not be indexed or accessible to search engines.
  • Finally, it is essential to be aware of the ethical considerations of predatory journals. These publications erode public trust by spreading questionable research findings, which can potentially have serious consequences. Predatory journals are not only unethical for the authors whose work is published but also for the readers whose expectations are not met.


It is clear that the issue of predatory journals is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. It is in the best interests of the research community, authors, and readers alike, to combat the proliferation of publication pollution created by these journals. By exercising caution and due diligence in their publishing choices, authors can protect themselves from potential harm associated with predatory journals.

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