The VBN Team

Predatory journals

Predatory journals

So-called “predatory journals" are characterized by not meeting the standards of good research practice. Predatory journals are established for the sole purpose of making money without offering the traditional services of academic publishers.

The term "predatory" refers to the journals’ aggressive marketing methods and ways of approaching individual researchers. They are known for contacting researchers directly. They use praise, quote your earlier work, highlight their peer reviewers, promise speedy review processes, and encourage you to publish your next article in their journal. Therefore, it can be quite tempting to submit your article to them. However, once you have signed the contract, it may prove very difficult to withdraw your article.


How do researchers avoid the clutches of predatory journals when it can be difficult to determine whether the journal adheres to good research practice?

Aalborg University Library has access to Cabell's Journalytics and Predatory Reports that clearly distinguishes between the scientific quality of academic journals.

Cabell's Journalytics

A list containing more than 11,000 journals that have been selected based on a number of quality criteria. Among other things, the list shows each journal’s Impact Factor (JIF), its process of peer reviewing, and whether it is an Open Access journal.

Read more about Journalytics.

Cabell's Predatory Reports

A list containing more than 13.000 journals of questionable quality due to their lack of e.g. information on peer reviewing, contact information, and description of purpose. Characteristics which are common of “predatory journals”.

Read more about the Predatory Reports.


We recommend that you use the tool Think – Check – Submit, which is a checklist that can be used prior to submitting an article to a publisher or journal.



Just like there are predatory journals, there are also predatory conferences. They have the same aggressive marketing methods as the predatory journals, and once you have submitted an article, it can be difficult to withdraw it.


We recommend that you use the tool Think – Check – Attend, which is a checklist that can be used prior to submitting an article to a conference and/or participating in a conference.


For further information or assistance, please contact the VBN Team: