Videos show how to avoid predatory logs

Have you ever received an e-mail invitation from a magazine with an impressive name? The publisher promises quick review and low publishing costs. Before submitting an article, however, you should do some research. Perhaps the invitation comes from a predatory newspaper.

Melody Herr, head of the Office of Scholarly Communications, recently published a series of predatory journal videos.

“I often get questions about suspicious invitations,” Herr says. “I’m happy to help, but I’m afraid many of our faculty and students don’t know what predatory journals are.”

The first video explains how to rate a journal and how to avoid poor quality and predatory reviews. The second video recommends what to do if you are trapped by a predatory log.

Predatory journals are a serious threat, and even a researcher with dozens of articles on his CV can fall victim to them. Email invitations are flattering and the promise of a quick review is alluring. But what seems like a quick and easy way to get published could put a career in jeopardy.

Still, Herr maintains that “the best defense for our campus—and for individual faculty and students—is to focus on publishing strategies in reputable, high-quality journals.”

For this reason, Herr also created the video series “Publish your search.” A video shows how to find journals suitable for the subject, research methodology and target audience. Another video offers tips for submitting a manuscript successfully and navigating the review process. Students and beginning professors will benefit the most from this video series, although more established faculty might also discover some new tips.

Herr draws on her experience as a seasoned academic press acquisitions editor, journal editorial board member, peer reviewer, and author.

“But I don’t know everything! Herr admits with a smile. “If anyone watching the videos has any additional suggestions, I’m open to making more videos!”

Jessica Kelly, science communication assistant, designed the slides, managed the recording sessions and added captions to the videos.

“Producing these short but meaningful videos was eye-opening,” she says. “This information must absolutely be in the hands of anyone who publishes scientific articles!”

All the videos mentioned in this article are accessible online, free of charge, to everyone. They can be found in the Writing and editing research guide.