How to identify fake journals

These days, Scholars or researchers have a lot of pressure of publishing more research papers in reputed and indexed research journals. And at the end, many of them end up publishing in predatory or fake journals.

Even, there can be many other reasons for getting up publishing in predatory or fake journals.

In this blog post (identify a fake journal), we have described all the ways to identify fake journals (recognize predatory journals). There are also many cloned journals in the market (the list is provided in table 2).

Top Journal Indexing agencies for research journals

The following are the most popular indexers:

All the above-mentioned indexing agencies frequently remove low-quality journals from their lists. It is also important to identify the present indexing of a research journal.

About Fake journals/ Predatory journals

It is indeed important for researchers to publish their scientific and research data in indexed journals. All the indexed research journals are authentic and valid. They follow a peer review process before publishing any research data.

However, nowadays, there is a large number of fake journals with reliable websites. These Predatory/ Fake journals take advantage of open-access journals. In most cases, it becomes difficult to identify predatory journals.

Generally, they create fake websites. Fake journals usually start their advertisement by listing the name of a few indexed journals. They do not have real existence. Fake journals have fake impact factors on their website and hence they lure researchers to submit research journals to these websites. The fake journals charge a hefty amount from the researchers. They mainly earn profit by doing such activities. so it is important to spot fake journals.

 However, with the help of the following indicators, researchers can find out fake journals.

Tips to identify fake journals

  1. No address: Fake journals do not have a proper address for communication. They contain only email ids on their website.
  2. Lack of review information: There is no information about the editorial board on the fake journals’ website. They generally hide the peer-review process of the journal.
  3. Publication: Fake journals usually promise very fast publication within a few days (2-4 days).
  4. Publication Fees and Ethics: Some of the journals ask very high amounts for publication. Article processing charges are not clearly mentioned on the websites. Usually, they ask authors to submit publication fees at once. The range of fees may range between 50-2000 USDs. In addition, they do not follow any research ethics.
  5. The coverage area of topics: Usually, fake journals cover a wide area of subjects. There is no scientific scope.
  6. Plagiarized Papers: These journals usually publish repetitive papers from other countries.
  7. Name of Journals: Fake journals usually use adjectives like International, World, Global, American, European, and British. Some examples include the International Journal of Current Research, the Global Journal for Research Analysis, etc.
  8. Impact Factor: Fake journals use false journal metrics such as the Universal Impact factor, Index Copernicus Value, and Scientific journal impact factor.

Advertisement Format of Fake journals

  1. They start by sending spam emails containing the name and impact factor of original research papers. Generally, the title of spam emails will be like “Call for Papers” or inviting authors to submit the paper.
  2. They mentioned that the journals are indexed in popular databases such as DOAJ, ISI, Scopus, PubMed, and EBSCO. In addition, they also claim that they are indexed in academic networking websites like Research Gate.
  3. They present ISSN’s number of reputed journals.
  4. Many Fake journals tell that they will send certificates to authors after publication.
  5. They claim that they have a huge number of published articles in a single issue.

Generally, Young and inexperienced researchers become victims of these fake journals. Academic institutions and other higher education systems should encourage publications of faculty and students in journals that are authentic and measured by various parameters.

They should be able to provide proper training to them and teaching about research ethics. The researchers can improve the visibility of the published articles by creating accounts on ORCID, Research Gate, LinkedIn, Academia, etc.

How to avoid publishing in Fake journals?

Researchers while submitting before a journal should prepare a checklist of the following things to avoid publishing in fake journals.

  1. Publisher: Researchers should make sure that he/ she should submit papers to well-known publishers such as Elsevier, Springer, Wiley, Taylor and Francis, etc. These publishers will never publish fake journals.
  2. Editors/Reviewers: It is important for the researchers to verify the details of the Editor-in-chief, Associate Editors, and Reviewers of the journal. Fake journals usually do not contain information about all the Editors.
  3. Number of Volumes: If the journal contains a good number of high-impact factor research articles, then one can be sure that the journal is not fake. One can search for the details of published articles by entering the DOI of the paper.
  4. Verifying Indexing: The researcher should find whether the journal is indexed by Scopus, Scimago, or Web of Science Databases. All the information such as the existence of journals can also be obtained from the Thomson Reuters website, Google Scholar, PubMed,, etc.
  5. Review process: Usually, well-known journals follow the peer-review process. They have details of the process of submitting the paper to the journals. This review process may vary from journal to journal. It usually ranges from a few weeks to a few months.

The following table provides information about sources for journal selection. By doing so, one can avoid becoming the victim of fake journals.

Details of the journals and publisherswebsites
PhDTalks Journal Finder
Directory of Open     Access Journals (DOAJ)  
Open Access Scholarly     Publishers Association (OASPA)
Elsevier Journal Finder
Springer Journal Suggester
Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)
Master Journal List of     Clarivate Analytics
Journal Searches
Table 1: Sources for journal Selection

More posts to read:

Final tips to spot an authentic journal

Always use the following important tips before submitting a manuscript to a journal:

  1. Select a research journal matched to your research. You can use journal finders (the list is provided in table 1) for this purpose.
  2. After selecting a journal, verify the details of the journal using
  3. Step number second also provides the correct URL of the selected journal. It will help you to land on the original website of the journal instead of the cloned journal.
List of Fake/ predatory journalList
UGC cloned journalsList 1
List 2
Table 2: Important sources of fake journals

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know if a journal is valid?

Different ways to know if a journal is valid or authentic. One of the authentic ways to identify a predatory journal is shown below.
Go to Enter the journal title and press the search button. If the journal is valid, it will provide all the information related to the journal. The website will also provide the real URL address of the journal so that you can land on the real website instead of the cloned journal.
authenticity of a journal

Thanks for visiting our website and reading the post on how to identify fake journals to avoid publishing in fake, predatory, or cloned journals.

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