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Optometry and Vision Sciences Faculty Resources: Predatory Publishing

What is a "predatory journal"? How do I find out if a journal I want to publish in is "predatory"?

Predatory publishing is a relatively recent phenomenon that seems to be exploiting some key features of the open access publishing model. It is sustained by collecting APCs [Author Processing Charges] that are far less than those found in presumably legitimate open access journals and which are not always apparent to authors prior to article submission.

Here's a recent article that will help answer this question: 

Potential predatory and legitimate biomedical journals: can you tell the difference? A cross-sectional comparison

Take a look at Table 10 for a concise list of the features found in predatory journals, including:

  • The scope of interest includes non-biomedical subjects alongside biomedical topics
  • The website contains spelling and grammar errors
  • Images are distorted/fuzzy, intended to look like something they are not, or are unauthorized
  • The homepage language targets authors
  • The contact email address is non-professional and non-journal affiliated (e.g., or

and more.

However, while perhaps not relevant to your immediate publishing decisions, please be aware of the Institutionalized Racism of Scholarly Publishing:

  • Non-Western and/or non-English journals are hugely underrepresented in our current scholarly indexes
  • The scholarly publishing infrastructure demands journals be Open and English to be noticed, but non-Western and/or non-English journals may be labeled as predatory as they struggle to fulfill such demands.

AVSL Whitelist of Vision Science Journals