1. Section Editor(s): Simpson, Kathleen Rice PhD, RNC, CNS-BC, FAAN

Article Content

The other day, I received an e-mail from a journal that I was unfamiliar with and not remotely related to perinatal nursing. Here is sample of the content.


Dear Professor Simpson


We would like to acknowledge your eminent contribution in the field of XX. We have been through your articles and are enthralled to know about your reputation and commitment in your field. You are one of the prominent and expert people in this research area. Thus, we request you to submit your research for our upcoming issue.


Had it been from editors at the Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Nursing Outlook, Nursing Research, Health Affairs, or the New England Journal of Medicine, I would have been thrilled. Unfortunately, it was not. I received five similar e-mails that day. I recently attended a meeting of the International Academy of Nursing Editors (INANE) where this issue was discussed, so I was interested in their pitch and if any mentioned costs to the author (they did not). I asked each about the fee to have my manuscript published. Three responded that they were having specially reduced rates for a short time only. Fees ranged from ~$500 US to $1200 US. Two specifically noted that authors in the United States could likely afford to pay more for publication fees than those in developing countries.


Generally, when something seems too good to be true, be wary. There are journals of questionable reputation, often with names similar to legitimate scholarly journals, which prey on unsuspecting authors who feel pressure to have their work published, perhaps to get a promotion or tenure, perhaps for career advancement. Their peer review process is not often rigorous, but usually quick. Jeffrey Beall is a librarian who has developed a list of these types of journals, which he defines as predatory publishers. His blog is available at as is Beall's List of Potential, Possible, or Probable Predatory Scholarly Open-access Publishers and criteria (Beall, 2015) for identifying predatory publishers. Rick Anderson (2015) has termed them deceptive publishers.


Members of INANE are working to warn nurses about predatory publishers (Thorne et al., 2014). Prospective nurse authors should consult the Directory of Nursing Journals,, which has been developed collaboratively by INANE and Nurse Author & Editor and includes journals that have been verified as legitimate scholarly publications by the INANE community. Proliferation of open-access journals (journals with content freely available without a subscription) has generated the business of charging authors significant fees for publication. Guiding a manuscript from submission to publication involves numerous steps by reviewers, editors, the journal production team, the printer, and journal distribution center. Most of these tasks and their associated costs remain (even with on-line only journals), whether the publication is open access or a traditional publisher such as Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, the publisher of MCN. Open-access journals need to recoup these costs so there are various models that determine who pays the fee and how much. Unscrupulous opportunists realized that some desperate authors would be willing to pay to have their articles published without close scrutiny of the journal; hence the quick spread of predatory publishers. Don't be a victim. Review the resources cited here to get more information.




Anderson R. (2015). Deceptive publishing: Why we need a blacklist, and some suggestions on how to do it right.[Context Link]


Beall J. (2015). Criteria for determining predatory open-access publishers.[Context Link]


Thorne S., Chinn P. L., Nicoll L, H., Pickler R., D'Antonio P., Connolly C., ..., Bradley-Springer L. (2014). Predatory publishers: What editors need to know. Nurse Author & Editor, 24(3), 1-5. [Context Link]