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Risks of publishing in fake journals

The promised very short time of a few weeks until publication may seem particularly attractive for researchers but leaves only minimal time for peer review.

The time span until the feedback by the reviewer is often stated to be only a few days.

The time for reviewers to give their feedback is often declared as only a few days - a first indication that the reviews either do not take place at all or are very superficial. Due to the lack of quality control through a strict peer review process, the quality of the published articles is often inferior.

In many cases, publishers and publishers of such fake journals misuse Open Access publication models by charging Article Processing Charges (APCs), which are not unusual for Open Access publications. However they do not at all or only inadequately provide the usual publishing services such as editorial and/or peer review, professional layout, marketing and long-term availability of articles. The aim of predatory publishers is not to publish high-quality research, but to put as many articles online as possible with as little effort as possible and thus to make maximum profit. Charging fees without providing standard publishing services is a profitable business, as can be seen from the rapidly increasing numbers of dubious publishers and journals in recent years.

Risks of publishing in fake journals include:

  • Poor quality assurance
  • Low visibility and findability of articles
  • Uncertain long-term availability of articles
  • Risk for the scientific career
  • Damage to one's own scientific reputation
  • damage to the reputation of the university
  • Fostering illegitimate business models and practices
  • Uncertainty about the reliability of research results


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