New guide on predatory and questionable publishing practices

April 16, 2024

At the Library Dialogue on questionable publishing last fall, researchers emphasized the need for clearer guidelines and more information on selecting reliable journals for publication. Open access experts from four Dutch universities have now written a practical guide on how to avoid questionable and predatory journals.

The good, the predatory, and the questionable

Scholars benefit when they publish in an authoritative, good-quality journal, book, or conference series from a reputable publisher in their field. Yet there is growing concern about the increasing number of publishers and journals that conduct questionable publishing practices – e.g. low-quality peer review and/or aggressive acquisition – and the more fraudulent predatory publishers.

How can you recognise and avoid these practices and publishers? What can
you do if you think you have published with a questionable or predatory publisher?

WUR Library's open access specialist Chantal Hukkelhoven and 3 other experts have written a practical guide for authors on how to avoid questionable and predatory journals.

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The new guide gives practical advice and guidelines and is particularly attentive to the needs of early-career scientists. The most important advice is to carefully research the reliability of the journal you want to publish in. The guide contains a helpful table outlining typical publishing characteristics. You can use this table to assess whether a journal has a high, medium, or low risk of being predatory or questionable.

A series of guides on open science helps researchers in the Netherlands navigate open science. All guides are open access and available via the open repository Zenodo.


Are you still unsure about what to do? You can always consult your colleagues and peers in your field to see if they've heard or read about any problems with the journal you're uncertain about. In addition, you can contact WUR Open Access support.


Braak, P., van Gorp, D., Hukkelhoven, C., & de Roo, T. (2024). Predatory and Questionable Publishing Practices: How to Recognise and Avoid Them. UKB - Dutch Consortium of University Libraries.