Predatory open access publishing is an exploitative is an exploitative open-access publishing business model that involves charging publication fees to authors without providing the editorial and publishing services associated with legitimate journals (open access or not).
Beall's List- For many years, Jeffery Beall, a librarian at University of Colorado maintained a list of "predatory publishers" on his website. The list has always been a source of much debate among both scholars and the publisher community. That list was taken down in January, 2017.
ARCHIVED LIST (As of January, 2017) Beall's List: Potential, Possible, or Probable Predatory Scholarly Open-Access Publishers
This is Beall's final list, as hosted in the Internet Archive.
Checklist designed to help researchers determine whether or not to publish in a journal. Created by the Duke University Medical Center Library & Archives.
An unfortunate side-effect of the growth of high-quality open access journals is the number of 'predatory' open access publishers that have also sprung up. These publishers essentially accept as many articles as possible in order to make as much money as possible. These journals provide little or no peer-review and editorial services, and as a result the quality of the articles they publish is poor.
It is important to be aware of the practices of predatory publishers; informative articles on the subject have been published by Nature and the Open Science Initiative.
Predatory journals can sometimes be hard to spot. Their websites can look professional, while making claims that are untrue. For example, saying that they have an Impact Factor when they do not, or claiming recognised experts are on the editorial board when they are not.
How to spot 'predatory' journals and publishers:
Acknowledgements: This advice on predatory journals was adapted with permission from RCSI Library
Predatory conferences, in a similar way to predatory publishers, send unsolicited emails or contact people through LinkedIn asking them to speak at a conference. They may take fees for attendance at events that never happen or else are not what was advertised – for instance a whole range of disparate conferences turn out to be in the same venue. This news report from CBC highlighted some examples.
If you have been approached by unknown publishers or conferences to write, speak or attend, always be cautious and check out the credentials of any publisher or conference organiser before signing up. Speak to colleagues or check the details online to see if they are credible. Bear in mind that some predatory conferences have been known to use names and photos of prominent academics without their permission.
The further checks you can make are similar to those for predatory publishers outlined on Think Check Submit. Signs that should concern you include:
What you can do:
CalTech also maintain a list of questionable conferences.