A consensus definition of predatory journals (3)

12 January, 2020

Dear Williams Nwagwu,

I did not participate in the consensus process that led to the predatory journals article in Nature, and I also disagree with some aspects of the definitions. However, I agree with the portion of the definition, "Deviation from best editorial and publication practices," which refers to this: "Standards here have been set out in the joint statement on Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing (see go.nature.com/35mq7mj), issued by the DOAJ, the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, COPE and the World Association of Medical Editors. Examples of substandard practice include not having a retraction policy, requesting a transfer of copyright when publishing an open-access article and not specifying a Creative Commons licence in an open-access journal." See, eg,


for the Principles.

These Principles were developed to help legitimate journals differentiate themselves from predatory journals and had broad input from many individuals and organizations. Many legitimate journals are freely available and some do not charge APCs (particularly in the Global South). It's essential to the future of scholarly publishing that they can be differentiated from predatory journals that claim to peer review and edit manuscripts but do not (among other falsehoods).


Margaret Winker, MD

Trustee, WAME






-Views are my own.-

HIFA profile: Margaret Winker is Secretary and Past President of the World Association of Medical Editors in the U.S. Professional interests: WAME is a global association of editors of peer-reviewed medical journals who seek to foster cooperation and communication among editors, improve editorial standards, promote professionalism in medical editing through education, self-criticism, and self-regulation, and encourage research on the principles and practice of medical editing. margaretwinker AT gmail.com