Jeffrey Beall scrubbed his blog and lists of predatory journals and publishers last week after years of running ScholarlyOA. This raised concerns around the Internet from scholars about being able to assess the many calls for papers and requests received from legitimate-sounding, but questionable journals. Beall apparently took down his list of predatory journals in order to avoid continued harassment and threats.

In the interest of promoting information literacy, a small group of scholars and information professionals decided to anonymously rebuild and resurrect that list here. This site is a first attempt at keeping such a resource online and potentially expanding that resource through direct engagement with the scholarly community who use it.

Criteria for the behavior of predatory journals have been laid out by Beall and others and can be synopsized as follows:

  1. Charging exorbitant rates for publication of articles in conjuction with a lack of peer-review or editorial oversight.
  2. Notifying authors of fees only after acceptance.
  3. Targeting scholars through mass-email spamming in attempts to get them to publish or serve on editorial boards.
  4. Quick acceptance of low-quality papers, including hoax papers.
  5. Listing scholars as members of editorial boards without their permission or not allowing them to resign.
  6. Listing fake scholars as members of editorial boards or authors.
  7. Copying the visual design and language of the marketing materials and websites of legitimate, established journals.
  8. Fraudulent or improper use of ISSNs.
  9. Giving false information about the location of the publishing operation.
  10. Fake, non-existent, or mis-represented impact factors.

The maintainers, for the time being, will remain anonymous. This protects us from being harassed, but the structure of the site and the platform (GitHub) allows for a community-based approach to curating and maintaining these lists. It is hoped that a community of people will develop around the site in order to vet and investigate journals already on the lists and contribute new submissions, as well as adapt, expand, and critique existing criteria for identifying predatory journals.

Please explore the site and GitHub repository and help pages for more information about how you can become involved in this effort.