Fighting the Fakes: How to Identify and Beat the Predatory Publishers

Monday, 23 July 2018: 8:50 AM

Linda Shields, MD, RN, FACN, FAAN
Faculty of Science, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW, Australia


Predatory publishers are a blight on the landscape of nursing publishing1. Nursing authors are particularly vulnerable to them because of nursing’s relative newness to the academy and the world of writing2. Universities and research institutions are gradually developing ways to enable their staff and authors to identify and avoid predatory publishers. This is driven in some part by the costs involved to both staff and schools should faculty or research students participate in conferences that are nothing but money-making exercises for the predators, with little or no scientific merit. Some researchers and academics may expect similar costs for dubious 'open access publication' to be covered by their institution. Where predatory journals are concerned, this is taxpayer's money being transferred directly to predatory publishers' bank accounts. Of course, these costs are important for legitimate publishing but the unwary or complicit can easily become involved in a situation that not only has a high financial cost to a school and university, but also will have a significant cost to academic reputations.

This presentation will help nursing authors to recognise predatory publishers and their techniques for inviting and recruiting victims.


This symposium describes how predatory publishers work, the damage they do, and gives advice on how to avoid being caught by them3. Ways to recognise when an invitation to publish, or present at a conference is from a disreputable predatory publisher, will be explained, using a range of existing scamming invitations and approaches as examples. It will discuss the legality/criminality of the predators and their actions, and describe how universities, research institutions and others are developing processes and policies designed to thwart the predators’ nefarious actions.


The consequences of being caught by predators will be discussed. This ranges from the large amounts of money demanded and often paid to publish, to the damage to reputations and careers when an unscrupulous and illegitimate journal publishes work that is not peer-reviewed or subjected to the usual safeguards4 that ensures that research and scholarship is of the highest standards, both ethically and scientifically5.

Tips for determining if an invitation is genuine or not, if it is legal or criminal, and the consequences of being caught in predatory publishers' traps will be given.


The presentation will show ways that one can protect oneself from falling victim to predators. Personal experiences of us as nursing academics will form the basis for what is presented, thus making the presentation relevant to nurses who are, and aspire to be, authors and published researchers.