Open Access


The Open Access publishing model creates new financial flows (publication fees or APCs). Some "publishers" try to attract publication fees in an abusive way by creating pseudo-scientific journals with a pretentious title (International Journal of...). They also canvass the authors by email promising them fully imaginary impact factors.

 The process of proofreading and editing the manuscript is generally non existing. The document sent by the author is published without any control. Only the payment of APCs interests these "publishers".

OMICS International and the Turkish WASET (World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology) which publish dozens of journals and organize hundreds of conferences are two predatory companies.


There is a grey area between the predatory publishers and the serious scientific publishers : a fringe of the world of publishing is grouped under the term of deceptive publishers. These publishers are not necessarily scammers but often small actors who do not want or fail to respect all the quality standards that an academic is entitled to expect from its publisher.

For example the new PhDs of the universities often receive email advertising to produce a book from their thesis. These publishing houses such as the Editions universitaires européennes (EUE), the Presses académiques francophones (PAF) or LAMBERT Academic Publishing (LAP) offer the author an exclusive online publishing contract for their thesis as well as a profit-sharing from a number of copies sold.

The risks as well as the benefits for the author are very low. It is necessary to know that these publishing houses put up for sale on Amazon the PDF provided by the author without bringing any editorial work. In addition specific conditions of the contract restrict the royalties paid to the authors (minimum threshold, payment in the form of vouchers on the publisher's platform, etc.). In addition, specific conditions in the contract limit the royalties paid to authors (minimum threshold, payment in the form of vouchers on the publisher's platform, etc.). These are not fraudulent practices but doubtful promises. See also the post of Blogus operandi.


To avoid scams :


Jeffrey Beall, an American librarian, kept for a long time a list of predatory publishers on his SCHOLARLYOA blog. He has now stopped this endless hunt. Instead some people suggest to use only white lists for genuine journals (see Directory of Open Access Journal). Another complementary initiative asks the authors themselves to evaluate the journals in which they published an article. This self-evaluation by the authors, as long as the number of votes is sufficient, is a very interesting track: see QOAM.

However many open access journals are of excellent quality and have implemented a very good peer-reviewing system on manuscripts submitted by scientists. Johan Bohannon, a journalist, tested the quality of the filter by submitting a pseudo-scientific article to more than 300 journals, as explained in a post published in Science. Apart from a serious criticism of the chosen method, the most important open access journals, including PLoS ONE, rejected the manuscript, proving that they are concerned about the quality of the articles rather than by the payment of APCs.

About removed articles

The Retraction Watch website carefully follows all cases related to frauds, omissions or weaknesses in the scientific publishing content system:

Example of a message of a deceptive publisher

Good morning Madam/Sir University of Geneva,

I am Marina Cristea from the editorial team of the Éditions Universitaires Européennes.
I would like to ask you if you do not plan to publish an expanded version of your research work in the form of a "classical" printed book.
The publication is completely free of charge.In addition, we will guide you through the entire publishing process.
What is your opinion on that?
I am looking forward to hearing from you..

Best regards,
Marina Cristea

Example of a publication without peer review

A scientist, Peter Vamplew, annoyed by article requests from the publisher of the International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology, sent them a fake article formed of the repetition of a single sentence. To his great surprise the article was accepted after so called proofreading. Obviously to be published it would have been necessary to pay 150.00 USD.