A cursory look at some ‘predatory’ journals

Last week a researcher got in contact because some of his colleagues (at an academic department in a developing country) had asked him to check a list of journals – he suspected that they were dodgy journals and asked us to verify this. I did a quick bit of research and in each case I spotted at least one or two ‘red flags’ on each journal which suggested they were ‘predatory’ or appallingly low quality. I thought I would adapt this advice to a shareable blog post, as the list contains some good examples of deceptive and terrible journals that you should avoid at all costs (this post has also been shared already on the AuthorAID Discussion group). So let’s dive right in!

Journal 1 – Academia Journal of Scientific Research


The journal prominently claims to have an Impact Factor*. This is not the kind of Impact Factor journal your supervisor told you to publish in – journals have to be indexed in the Clarivate (formerly Thomson Reuters) Web of Science to get an Impact Factor, so it should be listed here: http://mjl.clarivate.com/ (spoiler alert: it’s not)

impact factor

If you are going to pretend to have an Impact Factor, at least make it higher than 0.3!

Journal 2 – International Journal of Development Research


Quality of the website suggests this is not an ‘international’ journal. But also, claims to be ‘UGC approved’ (by Indian University Grants Commission)… but it’s not listed here: https://www.ugc.ac.in/journallist/ (there is more information via this link about the history and criteria of the UGC list).


Prof. Bilgin looks rather sheepish. And so he should be.

Fake association with Thomson Reuters.
researcherIDFurthermore, they create a fake association with Thomson Reuters. The Thomson Reuters ‘Researcher ID’ website is for individual researchers to identify themselves and list their publications, but many predatory journals are registering accounts using just their journal name. They do this so they can link to this page from their website, and it *looks* like they have an official Thomson Reuters page. Clever.

Needless to say, the journal is not listed on the official website: http://mjl.clarivate.com/

Journal 3 – World Journal of Scientific Research and Reviews (WJSRR)


Like many of the journals here, the scope of the journal “scientific research” is very broad and should make you sceptical of their ability to be able to cover such a wide range of subjects! It might be useful to compare and contrast this with Science or Nature, which are well-established international, multidisciplinary journals.

This is the Editorial Board listing for Nature Scientific Reports: https://www.nature.com/srep/about/editorial-board – as you can see it has an extensive list of editors covering every area under the natural and clinical sciences, so you can be confident in their expertise in your subject area. Compare this with WJSRR: http://wjsrr.com/Editor%20Board.php. Not quite in the same league, is it?

Also, the paragraph below is what we might call ‘gobbledygook’. It’s repetitive, incomprehensible English and says nothing about the scope of the journal. Also see the worrying red text – your paper will be ‘published without delay’. That doesn’t bode well for rigorous peer review.

“World Journal of Scientific Research and Reviews (WJSRR) is peer reviewed, online an open journal. It serves as a World Journal of Scientific Research and Reviews (WJSRR) forum of scholarly / researcher / academician research related to Scientific Research and Reviews Research. World Journal of Scientific Research and Reviews (WJSRR) are covers all the fields of Scientific Research related. There is no limit and covered full length research article, short communication, review paper and case study etc. World Journal of Scientific Research and Reviews (WJSRR) are inviting you to submit your paper and paper will publish without delay. World Journal of Scientific Research and Reviews (WJSRR) journal content will review by most prominent experts in the respective field. All published journal reader can read absolutely free.”

Journal 4 – Asian journal of science and technology



Professor Yildirim looks like he is quietly seething that somebody has spelt ‘physical’ wrong on his nice banner.

Again, this claims to be ‘UGC approved’ – but it isn’t https://www.ugc.ac.in/journallist.

Also, let’s look at the aims and scope to find out more information… oh, ‘page not found’ http://www.journalajst.com/about-journal


Batman recommends deep scepticism of claimed ‘impact factors’

Journal 5 – International Journal of Advanced Research


This journal has a link to ‘Impact Factor’ on the homepage which goes to this page: http://www.journalijar.com/impact-factor-2014/ showing a gallery of nice certificates for something called ‘Scientific Journal Impact Factor’.

This is a fake/meaningless ‘impact factor’ (find out more information on fake impact factors here) that has no credibility in the scholarly community. Again, a journal only qualifies for an Impact Factor if its listed here: http://mjl.clarivate.com/

Also, their Editor in Chief is a ‘Dr Morse Florse’ of the UK. What a great name! Unfortunately, there is no institutional affiliation listed, it just says he is in the UK, so no way of checking his credibility. I did a search on Google for ‘Morse Florse’ and there is no information on this person, except that he is listed as an editor in chief for lots of journals with similar names. I’m pretty sure this is a fake name, and perhaps based on the fictional detective Inspector Morse.


Journal 6 – Applied science and innovative research**

The Editor of the journal is a ‘Lisa Brown’, an employee of the publisher ‘Scholink’. What credentials does she have to be an editor of a multidisciplinary journal? There are no other details provided, and I was unable to find any information on her online.

They also provide a list of indexes which contains at least 3 fake impact factors:
• Global Impact Factor (GIF)
• Cosmos Impact Factor
• Universal Impact Factor


Summing up, all of these journals should be avoided at all costs. Additionally, I would suspect that any researcher who has shortlisted these sort of journals as potential target journals for their research is looking in totally the wrong place. Perhaps they have been paying too much attention to the spam they receive in their inbox (credible journals never send you unsolicited emails folks!). Or perhaps they did a Google search for ‘international journal’ or ‘research journal’, when in fact it would be much wiser to think about their specific research field first, rather than the grand-titled (fake) multidisciplinary journals listed above. They should be more realistic – afterall, most good-quality academic journals are very niche and serve a specific audience.

After sharing this post on AuthorAID, an author got in contact with me to say that he had an article accepted by one of the above journals and was about to pay an APC when he saw this. He provided copies of the acceptance letter, ‘reviewer comments’ and invoice. More on this next time!

* Impact factors – I’m aware that the Impact Factor is not a perfect measure of journal quality or research integrity. There are a growing number of critics of the metric, and in fact there are tens of thousands of perfectly credible journals that do not even quality for this metric. However, many ‘predatory’ journals advertise their fake Impact Factors quite prominently to entice unwary researchers into thinking they have prestige, so it’s important that those researchers know how to check the claims of these journals and cross-check with the Clarivate website.

** This journal is quite strange. They have tried to make their journals seem quite credible, with some standard Open Access practices – CC-BY licenses, the authors retaining copyright, and working DOIs. However, an organisation that lists offices in London and Los Angeles should not have grammatical errors on their homepage.


  1. Ishaya Kato Auta

    I am highly delighted and properly informed on Predatory journals by reading your authorAID advise this afternoon and wish to ask few questions.
    1. Can a journal have an impact factor up to 6 ?.
    2. If i have published in such a journal, what do i do ?.
    3. Dont we have a body responsible to check this act of corruption in academics?. Than
    leaving unsuspected victims to the mercies of these fake authors.
    Thanking you sincerely for this piece of information, infact my day was made complete after reading this writeup.
    I. K. Auta

  2. Anonymous

    Thank you Andy for sharing this information!!!

  3. Alinafe

    This is very interesting. Had no idea we have such journals. No wonder they usually accept papers that leave a lot to be desired. Thanks for sharing

  4. sara

    thank you

  5. Christopher Hethrington

    Journal #6 “Scholink” seems to have plenty of “Journals” that they publish. I have received multiple requests to publish with them based on my previous published papers (in reputable journals). The request is always the same boilerplate language with the exception of the particular journal they are requesting I publish in. So far I’ve been solicited for 4 different journals, all with the same letter. The language used suggests it’s written by someone who is not a native English speaker and yet the name is always very generic Anglo-Saxon.
    Their tagline is “With our enthusiasm, we will try our best to build a mutual exchange and learning platform for you!”

  6. John Lee

    Oh, man… some profs in our university got published in these journals – and they got promoted!

  7. amel fs

    merci pour l’article

  8. amel snv

    beau partage
    excellente participation

  9. djamila_st

    Thank you so much for writing this. good idea

  10. Ziane.ziane

    I absolutely love everything about this!

  11. Zianez

    It’s worth reading Your .

  12. tita

    Thanks for the post

  13. zianezoz

    Nice topic. Thank you.

  14. tita

    nice information

  15. zoulikha

    Topic is really excellent.

  16. Baker ST

    Exceptional post however , I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic?
    I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more.
    Thank you!

  17. TITA

    Nice blog. Thank you very much

  18. TITA

    Nice blog. Thank you very much


  19. kamir bouchareb st

    thanks for this

  20. Baker ST

    You have outdone yourself this time. It is probably the best, most short step by step guide that I have ever seen on net.

  21. cherry

    hello. my manuscript have just been accepted by one of the journals listed above. from what I just read, it is not a good idea to publish with them. how can I tell them I no longer want to publish with them? thank you as I wait your reply. you can write me via my mail cherrysteph78@yahoo.com

  22. Anonymous

    hello. my manuscript have just been accepted by one of the journals listed above. from what I just read, it is not a good idea to publish with them. how can I tell them I no longer want to publish with them? thank you as I wait your reply. please can you delete my first comment as it displays my mail address?

  23. ziane

    So beautiful ! Thank you !

  24. fateh

    Very beautiful important and significant subjects

  25. aryne

    Fabulous site…Thank you!
    is really informative and i’ll be grɑteful if ʏou keep writing in the future.

  26. noor

    Fabulous site…Thank you!
    is really informative and i’ll be grɑteful if ʏou keep writing in the future.

  27. noor

    Nice article.. thank you very much for spending the time to write this post.

  28. aryne

    Nice article.. thank you very much for spending the time to write this post.

  29. Yogesh Singh

    Nice article, thanks for sharing a valuable article with us.

  30. Karan Singh

    UGC Approved List of Journals has been replaced by the UGC-CARE list w.e.f. 14.06.2019 UGC Public Notice reg.: Academic Integrity UGC Public Notice reg.: Fake website imposing as University Grants Commission’s website for Consortium for Academic Research and Ethics (CARE) UGC Public Notice reg. CARE: Reference List of Quality Journals.

  31. nassim

    Thank you very much for the information!

    est vraiment instructif et je serai reconnaissant si vous continuez à écrire à l’avenir.

  32. nassim

    est vraiment instructif et je serai reconnaissant si vous continuez à écrire à l’avenir.

  33. simon
  34. simon



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