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IED-PK | How to Get Copyright Clearance: Identifying Predatory Journals

The purpose of this guide will assist you to get permissions for learning materials and their fair use.


Identifying p​redatory journals / publishers and fake Impact Factor providers


We encourage AKU authors to publish in Open Access journals but they should be cautious and on the lookout for offers from “Predatory Journals”. You can use the following clues & criteria for selecting a journal for publishing your research. 

  • ​Journal Impact Factor (IF) : High IF is a  good measure of journal quality (Note: It takes a few years for a new journal to get a significant impact factor and get ​​indexed). Keep in mind that there are now fake Impact Factor pro​viders who will, for a fee, assign fake impact factors to journals willing to pay. Please read the following articles on this:​

The story of fake impact factor companies and how we detected them

Counterfeit Impact Factors are Devaluing the Real One​

  • ​Journals  indexed in a respected citation databases such as ‘Index Medicus’ PubMed, CINAHL, ERIC, Thompson Reuters Web of Science, SciVerse Scopus etc. have usually been vetted by the indexing agency as “serious”. Check your library as AKU has access to several of these.

  • If the Organization, Publisher of the Journal is reputable. You can check publishers’ membership to the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) members are bound by a code of conduct and held to excellent standard, transparent publishing practices etc. Also check if the Journal is included in the Directory of Open Access Journals. Any journal included in the index has been vetted and can be considered “s​erious"

  • If the editorial board members are recognizable experts known for their contribution to the field. You can do a Google Scholar search to check.

  • The quality of the website of the Journal: check for visible grammatical, content errors and broken web-links.

  • If you receive a publishing offer from a journal/publisher through spam (unsolicited email), then be cautious. Recognized journals do not solicit publication from potential authors.

  • ​Publishing fees should be clear with full contact details including email, postal address and working telephone number.


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