VERSION INFORMATION

This post serves as an archive location for the Cabells Journal Blacklist evaluation criteria v.1.0. In this version, the criteria were grouped by subject matter. In later versions, criteria is grouped according to relative severity and subject matter. Journals most recently evaluated under this version will display a link to this post.

GENERAL INFORMATION

This policy establishes the criteria for identifying deceptive, fraudulent, and/or predatory journals for inclusion in Cabell’s Blacklist. Cabell’s Blacklist Review Board uses the following criteria to evaluate all journals suspected of deceptive, fraudulent, and/or predatory practices.

CRITERIA

The following criteria are considered when evaluating a suspected journal:

Integrity

  • The same article appears in more than one journal.
  • Hijacked journal (defined as a fraudulent website designed to look like a different specific established academic journal for the purpose of leveraging that journal’s brand to solicit publications).
  • Information provided to auditors from the journal does not match information on the journal’s website.
  • The journal or publisher is claimed to be a non-profit when it is actually a for-profit company.
  • The journals’ publisher hides or obscures relationships with for-profit partner companies.
  • The owner/editors of the journal falsely claims academic positions or qualifications.
  • The journal is associated with a conference that exhibits predatory behaviors.
  • The journal displays or reports having an ISSN that has not been issued to it.
  • Insufficient resources are used to prevent or eliminate author misconduct (resulting in repeated cases of plagiarism, self plagiarism, image manipulation, etc.).
  • The title of the journal references a country or demographic that does not substantially relate to the content or origin of the journal.
  • The journal uses language to suggest that it is industry leading, but is, in fact, a newly created journal.
  • The title of the journal is copied or so similar to that of an established journal so as to cause confusion between the two.

Peer Review

  • No editor or editorial board is listed on the journal’s website.
  • Listed editors do not actually exist or are deceased.
  • The journal lists individuals on an editorial board without their knowledge or permission.
  • The founder of the journal’s publishing company is the editor of all of the journals published by the company.
  • There exists evidence showing that the editors/review board members lack sufficient academic expertise to reasonably qualify them to be publication gatekeepers in the journal’s field.
  • The journal enlists board members who are established researchers but are exempt from any contribution to the journal except for the use of their names and/or photographs.
  • Gender bias on the journal’s editorial board.
  • For a journal that claims to be ‘international,’ little geographical diversity of board members.
  • Inadequate peer review practices (i.e., a single reader reviews submissions, peer reviewers evaluate papers outside of their field of study, etc.).
  • The journal’s website does not display a clearly stated peer review policy.

Website

  • The journal’s or its publisher’s website does not identify a physical address for the publisher or gives a fake address.
  • The journal or its publisher uses a virtual office or other proxy business as its physical address.
  • The journal’s website does not identify physical editorial address for the journal.
  • Dead links on the journal’s website.
  • Poor grammar and/or spelling throughout the website.
  • There is no way provided to contact the journal’s editors or only has a web-form.

Publication Practices

  • The journal publishes papers that are not academic at all, e.g., essays by laypeople or obvious pseudo-science.
  • No articles are actually published or the archives are missing issues and/or articles.
  • Falsely claims indexing in well-known databases (SCOPUS, DOAJ, JCR, Cabells, etc.).
  • Falsely claims universities or other organizations as partners or sponsors.
  • Accepts machine-generated or other “sting” abstracts or papers.
  • No copyediting.
  • The publisher displays prominent statements that promise rapid publication and/or unusually quick peer review (less than 4 weeks).
  • Little geographical diversity of authors and the journal claims to be international.
  • Similarly titled articles published by same author in more than one journal.
  • The editor of a journal publishes research in her own journal.
  • Authors are published several times in the same journal and/or issue.
  • The journal purposefully publishes controversial articles in the interest of boosting citation count.
  • The journal publishes papers presented at conferences without additional peer review.
  • The name of the journal’s publisher suggests that it is a society, academy, etc. when it is only a publisher and offers no real benefits to members.
  • The name of the journal’s publisher suggests that it is a society, academy, etc. when it is only a solitary proprietary operation and does not meet the definition of the term used or implied non-profit mission.

Indexing & Metrics

  • The journal uses misleading metrics (i.e., metrics with the words “impact factor” that are not the Clarivate Impact Factor).
  • The journal or its publisher is not listed in standard periodical directories or is not widely catalogued in library databases.

Fees

  • The journal’s or its publisher’s website seems too focused on the payment of fees.
  • The journal offers options for researchers to prepay APCs for future articles.
  • The journal states there is an APC or other fee but does not give information on the amount.
  • The journal or publisher offers membership to receive discounts on APCs but does not give information on how to become a member and/or on the membership fees.
  • The author must pay APC or publication fee before submitting the article (specifically calls the fee a publication fee, not a submission fee).
  • The journal does not indicate that there are any fees associated with publication, review, submission, etc. but the author is charged a fee after submitting a manuscript.

Access & Copyright

  • States the journal is completely open access but not all articles are openly available.
  • There is no way to access articles (no information on open access or how to subscribe).
  • No policies for digital preservation.
  • The journal has a poorly written copyright policy and/or transfer form that does not actually transfer copyright.
  • The journal publishes not in accordance with their copyright or does not operate under a copyright license.

Business Practices

  • Emails from journals received by researchers who are clearly not in the field the journal covers.
  • Multiple emails received from a journal in a short amount of time.
  • Emails received from a journal do not include the option to unsubscribe to future emails.
  • The journal has been asked to quit sending emails and has not stopped.
  • No subscribers / nobody uses the journal.
  • The journal or publisher operates in a Western country chiefly for the purpose of functioning as a vanity press for scholars in a developing country.
  • The journal’s website does not allow web crawlers.
  • The journal copyproofs and locks PDFs.

Cabell’s Blacklist Criteria v 1.0

GENERAL INFORMATION

This policy establishes the criteria for identifying deceptive, fraudulent, and/or predatory journals for inclusion in Cabell’s Blacklist. Cabell’s Blacklist Review Board uses the following criteria to evaluate all journals suspected of deceptive, fraudulent, and/or predatory practices.

The following criteria are considered when evaluating a suspected journal:

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