Strategic publishing

Find out more about scholarly publishing, predatory publishers, author rights and open access.

Unethical publishing practices

Predatory publishers exhibit unethical practices such as inviting researchers to publish with them but provide minimal or no editing, restricting author's rights, and often charging fees.


ThinkCheckSubmit website suggests steps to take and consider before selection of a publication source to verify the credentials of publishers: checking with colleagues, reviewing editorial boards, indexing of journals, fees and peer review practices, ability to contact publishers.

Cabells Predatory Reports (previously Cabells Journal Blacklist) a searchable database that identifies deceptive and fraudulent journals. Specialists identify and analyse over 65 behavioural indicators to flag potentially exploitative or dishonest operations. Each entry in the Journal Blacklist provides information on how to identify the journal in the real world as well as a comprehensive report of each behavioural indicator that was uncovered in the journal’s evaluation. NB: It does not list all predatory publishers and just because a publisher is not on the list, that does not mean it is not a predatory publisher.

COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) promotes integrity in publishing, with discussion, advice and guidelines on topics such as author misconduct (being unaware of articles submitted in their name), misuse of data.

Jeffrey Beall's list of predatory open access publishers was issued annually since 2011 until January 17, 2017.  Beall's List criteria for identifying possible and potential predatory publishers included limited geographic diversity in editorial board membership and authors, gender bias, false impact factor claims. The list became controversial and is no longer at its original location. The list information as at January 31, 2017 is available as a static website but is no longer updated.



ThinkCheckAttend is an initiative that guides researchers when deciding whether to attend a conference, submit an abstract or present their research. The 3-step approach encourages academics to ‘Think’ about the problem posed by predatory or substandard conferences, ‘Check’ the conference against a set of criteria designed to highlight attributes of good and bad quality conferences, and ‘Attend’ only if the conference adheres to the criteria consistent with a legitimate conference.