Fake Science Checklist

Here you find a list of criteria, that may point to predatory journals. But please be aware that some of these criteria may belong to trustworthy journals as well. So please check carefully, some journals may be new or of not so high quality - but still trustworthy, some are predatory.


  • You are contacted by eMail and addressed not with your name but using a general salutation, such as "Dear esteemed author".
  • The journal doesn't fit your area of research
  • Check the contact you have received:
    • eMail adress is from an free provider
    • Postal adress doesn't exist


  • Title is very vague, there are words like "international, global, World, American, Europena, Advanced Journal of ..."
  • Title is extremely close to a wellknown Journal - one letter changed.
  • ISSN doesn't exist - check here: https://portal.issn.org/
  • Impact Factor is fake - check here: predatoryJournals.com/metrics
  • Journal is not very specialized, subjects are vague
  • Journal is not listed in Web of Knowledge
  • Journal is not listed in Scopus
  • Layout of articles look shabby
  • Editors do not fit to the topic of the journal - do they actually know, they are listed as editors?


  • Grammar and layout of the site is no good quality
  • Website attracts authors and not readers
  • Strange website provider, free website provider
  • Text and downloadble materials are copy/paste from a reputational journal

Submission of manuscript

  • You are asked to submit via eMail, there is no online system
  • Time span between submission—acceptance—publication is very short
  • No precise indication concerning Peer Review and APCs

Translation based on the Graz University's list 

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