Green OA is Better than Publishing in a Predatory Journal


Green open access

I think that using the green open-access publishing model is better for authors and readers than publishing in a predatory or questionable open-access journal. Green open-access refers to publishing in a non-open-access journal and then uploading a postprint of the article to an institutional or disciplinary repository.

Green open-access combines the benefits of making one’s work open-access with the cachet of publishing in an established journal. Green OA also has the benefit of not having to pay article processing charges in most cases.

An institutional repository is generally one managed by a college or university. Here are two examples of postprints archived in institutional repositories:

A disciplinary repository is organized by a group of scholars in a particular field of study. Here are two examples of postprints archived in disciplinary repositories:


  • Some researchers publish in predatory journals because no green journal will accept their work.
  • Not all journals allow postprint archiving in repositories. Sometimes this can be negotiated, however. Others allow it only after an embargo period.
  • Postprint self-archiving is extra work for the author.
  • One generally cannot archive the publisher’s PDF version of the article; the postprint is normally the Word version.

Publishing your work in predatory or low-quality open-access journals may stigmatize it and damage your career. One of the ways to make your research open-access and appear in an established journal is to use the green open-access publishing model.

17 Responses to Green OA is Better than Publishing in a Predatory Journal

  1. Dorey, Gerald says:

    Hi Jeffrey

    I don’t think there is any question that publishing in the predatory journals at best is neutral – because it is effectively invisible – and at worst could be highly-damaging, if there is no language correction or other editing to catch omissions and errors.

    Moreover the term “publishing” has to be examined: putting something on the web with a web address might sound like it is being made accessible worldwide in perpetuity, but unless the site is indexed by Google for example it won’t actually be discoverable, and Google has a set of strict rules intended to keep it on the right side of all the jurisdictions it services. It might not index sites if it thought they were of dubious legality. And “in perpetuity” is a big concept in itself, which has led the major publishers to make major investments and detailed open public statements to reassure library customers and authors.

    There should soon be enough good quality green OA around to satisfy demand I would say, but sadly it won’t stop these opportunists leeching off the more naïve authors.

    Best wishes

    Gerald Dorey
    Routledge – Taylor & Francis
    Associate Editorial Director: Social Science Journals & Digital Resources
    Regional Publisher – South Asia: Science, Social Science and Humanities

    UK office: 4 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, OX14 4RN, UK
    Tel: +44 (0)20 7017 7902

    Indian office: 912 Tolstoy House, 15-17 Tolstoy Marg, New Delhi 110 001, India
    Tel: +91 (0)11 4315 5178

    Taylor & Francis is a trading name of Informa UK Limited, registered in England under no. 1072954

  2. Nils says:

    This has been mentioned before on this blog, but it may be worth reminding that preprint repositories such as arXiv have become standard in several communities including physics, mathematics and computer science. Many of these allow you to add the exact reference, including DOI, of your article once it has been published in a regular journal. Serious journals, in case they require you to sign a transfer-of-copyright agreement, usually include a clause that explicitly allows you to keep the preprint on the repository and on your personal web page. In fact one should avoid publishing in journals that do not allow this.

    • Yes, but “pre-print” in this context means “pre-refereed”: it’s *not* the same text as the final published version. If you want to be able to direct readers to a free version they can cite as the published version, you need to be able to put up at least what Jeffrey is talking about – a “post-print”, which is generally not a PDF of the formatted journal article (though that’s nice, if the publisher allows), but which incorporates all revisions made after refereeing and so has exactly the same text.

      • Dominic says:

        With regards to the arXiv, often articles are updated “to match the exact text as published in the journal xyz”. So once it has been through the peer review process, the authors upload the final published version so that anyone can access it.

        This is distinguished by the notes for version changes, and by the journal reference. So it is often easy to tell if the arXiv contains the same text as the journal.

      • Thank you — excellent clarification.

  3. Jan Szczepanski says:

    Are you aware of the fact that there are thousands of green journals that are of the highest quality in the humanities and social sciences.

    On Scribd I have put more than 20.000 titles and of these about 4.000 are of top quality and about 2-3000 are of good quality.

    Take a look here:


  4. Please note that citeseer is not really so much an archive as a website that crawls PDFs (possibly from third party sources).
    For cryptographic papers, the international association for cryptographic research maintains an ePrint archive that covers most of the work presented at the conferences and workshops they organize (CRYPTO, EuroCrypt, AsiaCrypt, CHES and a few others), and part of what is published in the journal of cryptology.

  5. Jurgen Ziesmann says:

    The big problem remains, that publishing in most traditional journals means transferring rights of my own article to the publishing house with zero compensation for it. Green open access therefore remains at best semi legal, permitted practice without being legal practice, and could be challenged by any publisher tomorrow in court, with you – the author of the article – paying the bill. You, the author, by accepting their offer to publish of the manuscript, had to sign away all your rights on this manuscript. You as the author are nearly in the same position as any reader of your article, when it comes to later use of your own article.

    Open access will not go away! It simply is the better option for publishing. I as author have to give my rights on the manuscript away anyway. So I can make my manuscript freely available for all. Why should I transfer my rights to some profit generating business in order to publish my research? I do not benefit from it, the science world does not benefit from the restricted access to my work, only the profits of a few companies do benefit – but why should the average researcher be concerned about their profits?

    What is needed? Better quality control of open access as well as traditional journals by an independent group, similar to consumer reports or better business bureau. And in some way your list is a starting point for that. Thank you.

  6. RD says:

    Thanks for this again Jeffrey. a Very illuminating article indeed. It is true there are several predatory OA journals out there which is taking advantage of the situation. In India for example the government doesn’t seem to care about the nature of the journal as long as it has an ISSN (as if that is an indicator of anything at all).

    I recently came across this european publisher based in Romani with very objectionable practices, and it is clear she is only interested in trapping the gullible Indian academic (which seems to make up 80% of her contributors).

    This is a snapshot of her journal promotion page where she says that articles need to be submitted by the 20th of the month for publication in the same month. I for the life of me cannot believe that peer review can be initiated and provided within that space of time:

    But she doesnt stop there. She seems to have now started a publishing house. It is very revealing she mentions API as that is something that would only matter in India:

    I am really saddened how these people can claim themselves to be genuine academics (She is a senior lecturer somewhere) when indulging in such vile practices.

    • Guido B says:

      Curious… Interesting to see these announcements for the journal in between her holiday snapshots. So it’s not like she’s hiding behind a fake identity… The journal’s webpage seems to be offline so it’s hard to judge.

      Her statement about submitting before the 20th seems ambiguous – it seems to me that she means papers for the November issue need to be submitted before the 20th of *October*, not November. And if the issue is published only at the end of the month, the time frame might just be feasible.

    • Srimanta says:

      It seems the publishing house seems to be associated with two other journals [Science Park ISSN : 2321–8045 and Weekly Science ISSN 2321-7871] jointly with an Indian publisher:
      Laxmi Book Publication
      258/34,Raviwar Peth,Solapur.
      Phone: +919595359435

      Ref: Visit
      Needless to say that both are fully predatory journals.

  7. Vladimir K says:

    If some of the journals in Beall’s list are indexed by ISI or Scopus, does it mean these journals have not been properly assessed by these indexing bodies? ISI or Scopus boasts about their stringent criteria for inclusion in their databases.

    My two cents opinion is that to wipe out these predatory journals ALSO requires the honest to goodness evaluation of the respected indexing or abstracting entities like ISI or Scopus.

    If journals deviate from good publishing practices then they must be removed from their databases. Moreover, we must have to watch also the conduct of these indexing or abstracting entities after all, all of the journals open or traditional derive its reputation in one way or another from these bodies.

    Finally, if we have some trust left for these indexing bodies like ISI or Scopus, I think it is fair to give the benefit of the doubt to those journals regarded as predatory which are still included in their databases. Let us not forget that some of these so called predatory journals passed the recent Bohannon’s sting.

    Needless to say, it is time to put more pressure on abstracting or indexing bodies like ISI or Scopus!

  8. Raihanna says:

    I’m sorry but I do not know exactly where to put my comment.
    I’m a postgraduate student and recently my supervisor received an invitation from OA Publishing London and from Hindawi.
    We have sent 2 papers to both of them. the first paper to OAPL has been accepted while the second paper to Hindawi is pending for reply.
    But I just found out that OAPL and Hindawi are listed under the predatory journals. Does this mean that I have to withdraw my paper or will there be any consequences for publishing in those journals?
    Kindly advice. Thank you.

    • The publisher Hindawi is NOT included on my list of predatory journals. You probably don’t need to withdraw the paper you submitted to them.
      I do recommend strongly considering withdrawing the paper you sent to OA Publishing London.
      The consequences depend on the particular situation. Always select the best journals to publish in, not the easiest.

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