Skip to Main Content

Predatory Publishing

Guide to the basics of predatory publishers and how to avoid them.

The Editorial / Publishing Process

When an author submits their work to a publisher for publication, the author must first choose the journal to whom they wish to send their work.  Once the work is received, it is reviewed by the publisher's editorial staff.  If it is accepted, the work is reviewed further for language, structure, accuracy, and methodology.  Upon completion of the review, a decision is made to either accept the work, send the work back to the author for revisions, or reject the work completely (Zakout, 2020).

It is important to remember that predatory journals may not have a clearly defined review process.  When considering a journal for publication, you should locate the publisher's review policy before submitting.

If you are unfamiliar with the publication review process, Editage lists the steps in the publication process, from submission to acceptance. They also have other articles and information regarding publishing academic works and editing papers for submission.

Types of Works

According to Boyle, et al. (2020), works under review are often categorized into one of the following types of works:

  • Literature review: Reviews current literature on an existing topic


  • Empirical paper: Presents data from a study and provides ways to implicate the data's findings.


  • Though piece: Creating an argument and supporting it with previous research.


  • Skills paper: Covers a specific skill and how it applies to the discipline.


  • Current topic updates: Presents the most recent news about a topic and what it means for the future.


If a journal includes works that do not fit into one of these categories, it could be a sign of a predatory publisher.  Works that do not fit into these categories could indicate lack of professionalism or knowledge of the publication process.  In many cases, works that do not fit into one of these categories are rejected.