May 23, 2019
UF faculty are receiving suspicious emails purportedly from legitimate Open Access journals and conferences. They are actually from predatory companies disinterested in furthering scholarly research. Their only goal is to make money and steal academic output.
“I get between five and 15 emails per day from predatory journals,” said Christopher W. Hess, assistant professor of neurology. “It is becoming a major problem for academic physicians.”
UFIT blocked 636 million email messages this academic year. However, predatory emails are not necessarily caught by the SPAM-blocking technology in use, since these emails do not contain malicious attachments and generally link to a recognized web domain.
Higher education’s environment of scholarship and discovery is a prime target for predators since faculty who are building careers must publish and present their work. The goal of predatory journals is to get exorbitant submission and handling fees in order for a paper to be accepted. Similarly, faculty are lured to submit presentation abstracts at some academic conferences. Multiple fees are a red flag that a journal or conference is predatory. While a small publication fee for an Open Access journal is normal, since readers aren’t charged for accessing content, legitimate scholarly journals do not charge submission and handling fees as a condition of acceptance. Damon G. Lamb, assistant professor of psychiatry, prepared this list of recommendations to consider before submitting an Open Access article or conference presentation.