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Understanding Predatory Publishers

Learn what they are, how to spot them, and ways to protect yourself.

General advice

If you are suddenly appointed an article to review* without your consent

*Yes, this has happened.

  • You are under no obligation to review something that you did not volunteer for.
  • You may want to contact the publisher and tell them that you did not agree to a review and/or to not contact you again. 
  • You can add the sender's email to your junk/spam list.

If your name is misappropriated**

**Yes, this has also happened. Predatory publishers have been known to list peoples' names as editors, board members, or reviewers without their knowledge.

  • Contact the journal/publisher immediately and ask that they take your name off of all of their materials.
  • Make it clear in other venues that you do not associate with the publication.
  • Consider talking with University Legal Counsel.

About this guide

This guide is just that, a guide. Ultimately it is up to each author to make the final decision on where to publish and to decide what they expect from their publishers.

Megan N O'Donnell authored this guide. She would like to give special thanks to Eastern Michigan University Library's Guide on Predatory Publishers which served as a starting point. The graphic icons used on this guide are from icons8. Reuse of the icons requires a link back to icons8.

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