Where predatory and mainstream journals differ: A study of language and linguistics journals

Hassan Nejadghanbar (Corresponding Author), Guangwei Hu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined editorial differences between potential predatory and mainstream journals in the discipline of language and linguistics. A keyword search of the relevant journals on Beall's updated list of potential predatory journals led to a sample of 66 journals. An equal number of journals were selected from those indexed by Web of Science (WoS) via stratified random sampling. Analyses showed that the two groups of journals did not differ in terms of certain publication frequencies, mean number of annual articles, mention of peer review time, availability of the author guides and aims/scope sections, absence of editorial boards, mean number of editorial board numbers, article processing charge (APC) for open access, claimed indexation by ERIC and DOAJ and availability of ISSNs. However, these two groups of journals differed markedly in terms of contact information, years of editorial activity, certain publication frequencies, specialized focus, mention of acceptance rate, mean peer review time, claimed adoption of peer review, submission mode, listing of editors-in-chief, relevance of their expertise, mean number of editors, relevance of the editorial board members' expertise, mean APC, claimed indexation by Google Scholar/Scopus/WoS, reporting of fake impact factors, provision of Index Copernicus Value, claimed COPE membership, availability of ethical guidelines and various policies and existence of DOIs. These differences can be used as warning signs that a journal may not be legitimate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-584
Number of pages11
JournalLearned Publishing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Beall's list
  • ethics
  • mainstream journals
  • open access
  • predatory journals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Library and Information Sciences


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