If you’ve received an unsolicited invitation to re-publish a work that’s in Cedarville University’s Digital Commons, such as your thesis, capstone project, or article in one of our journals, you may have been contacted by a predatory publisher.


A predatory publisher is a publisher that exploits the open access system by charging authors a fee to publish in their counterfeit journals. Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado, writes that:

These predatory publishers are dishonest and lack transparency. They aim to dupe researchers, especially those inexperienced in scholarly communication. They set up websites that closely resemble those of legitimate online publishers, and publish journals of questionable and downright low quality. Many purport to be headquartered in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada or Australia but really hail from Pakistan, India or Nigeria. (See his article in Nature from September 2012.)

Predatory publishers are not interested in publishing high-quality, scholarly journals, but rather are only interested in making money through questionable practices.


DigitalCommons@Cedarville is designed so that authors retain the copyrights to their works. No rights are assumed by the repository other than the right to display the work. Therefore, authors may re-use their works in journals, monographs, or in any other way they may choose. The most important thing to remember is not to transfer your copyright to another publisher for any reason. For guidance on retaining your copyright, please see our copyright guidelines.


Although the Digital Commons cannot provide expert legal counsel, we would be happy to help answer any questions you may have or to direct you to other authoritative information. Please contact us at dc@cedarville.edu.


  • Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado, compiled a list of "potential, possible, or probable predatory" publishers. This list is no longer updated or maintained, but is still available at the Internet Archive.
  • Jeffrey Beall also compiled a list of possible predatory open-access journals, which is also no longer maintained or updated, but available at the Internet Archive.
  • Thomas Jefferson University maintains an excellent guide to predatory publishing, including a link to a website maintained by an anonymous individual who has republished Beall's list and adds to it from time to time.
  • Think, Check, Submit is a website that guides authors through the process of selecting a trustworthy journal.
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