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MHIKNET: Perils of Predatory Journals

What are Predatory Publishers?

“Predatory” publishers and journals are those that mimic academic journals, but don’t have the editorial, review, and publishing services associated with legitimate journals. At times it can be difficult to distinguish between predatory and legitimate publishers and journals, so readers should always think critically about information sources. While no given number of these criteria in any combination will guarantee a journal as being predatory or not, the more “poor” criteria a journal meets, the more likely it is to be predatory in nature. 

If you are preparing to submit an article for publication, use tools like Think, Check, Submit, to ensure you are submitting to a trusted and reputable journal.






Google Search

  • In top 5 search results
  • On the first page
  • Not in the top 5
  • Not on the first page
  • At least one scam alert

Journal Name

  • Cannot be confused with another journal
  • Similar to another journal title
  • Unable to distinguish between this and another journal

Editorial Board

  • Full names and institutions
  • Full names only
  • No editorial board listed

Review Process

  • States if it is peer-reviewed or edited
  • Has review policy listed
  • States if it is peer-reviewed or edited
  • Has no review policy listed
  • Does not state if it is peer reviewed
  • Promises rapid peer review

Conflicts of Interest

  • Clearly describes conflict of interest policy
  • States it has a conflict of interest policy, but does not describe it
  • Journal does not have a conflict of interest policy


  • Competently designed and functional
  • Adequately designed, passably functional
  • Poorly designed, not functional
  • Distorted images

Revenue Source

  • Clearly stated business model
  • Revenue sources (author fees, subscriptions, advertising) are clearly outlined
  • Business model lacks clarity
  • Revenue sources are unclear
  • Business model is not stated
  • Revenue sources unclear
  • Revenue is exclusively from author fees


  • Journal website contains an archive of past articles with full-text links
  • Journal website contains an archive of past issues, but it is incomplete
  • Journal site lacks archive
  • Archive exists but doesn’t work

Publishing Schedule

  • States how often it publishes
  • Archive concurs with this
  • Does not state schedule
  • Can be determined from archive
  • Does not state schedule
  • Schedule cannot be determined from archive

Author Fees

  • Cost clearly stated
  • Fees noted, but cost unclear
  • Does not state if fees exist


  • Copyright policed stated


  • Copyright policy not stated


  • Indexed in multiple databases
  • Indexed in one database
  • Not indexed in any database

Number of Articles

  • More than 10 articles published
  • Between 6 and 10 articles published
  • 5 or fewer articles