Journals going rogue, authors beware

Pleading emails requesting papers are regular visitors to one’s inbox. These unsolicited and flattering requests promise rapid publication and tempt authors to part with their work. Even master’s and doctoral students, after graduation, receive sweet-talking requests to publish their dissertations as a book, a book chapter, or as a paper. Predatory journals and publishers are easy to spot and ignore at these low ends.

The danger lies with well-established and efficient predatory publishers. These ‘efficient’ publishers hide in the open on allowlists, such as South Africa’s Department of Higher Education and Training (DHETs) list of approved journals, and reputable indices such as Scopus and the WoS. They embellish their websites with claims of peer review and even state that they comply with requirements set by the Committee on Publication Ethics. Their websites tick all the boxes, providing a strong veneer of an authentic scholarly journal. 

One of my colleagues alerted me to a suspected predatory publisher. I looked into the case and thought it sensible to share my results, with the hope of sensitising postgraduate students and fellow authors.

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