Skip to Main Content

Open Access

Information about open access, self-archiving and repositories.

Identifying Deceptive Publishers

  • Predatory publishers often seek out material through unsolicited emails. Be wary of emails from unfamiliar publishers expressing interest in publishing your work. 
  • Predatory publishers may have unprofessional or inconsistent websites. If you are uncertain about the legitimacy of a publisher, compare their website to a known reputable publisher and look for any notable differences or gaps in information. 
  • The peer-review process of predatory publishers may be unexplained or may happen very quickly. Alternatively, there may be no peer-review process at all. 
  • Predatory publishers will often charge publication fees, while most reputable publishers do not. 
  • Reputable publishers should be able to provide information about the print run, or how many copies of your book they intend to initially print. Predatory publishers often operate a print-on-demand service of printing books as they are ordered rather than in advance. 

Commercial Publisher vs Vanity Press

Commercial publishers are companies which focus solely on publishing books that are commercially available for purchase. These publishers do not charge fees to authors for publication and typically provide substantial quality-control measures, such as peer- or editorial-review. Commercial publishers are considered reputable and are ideal for academic careers. 

Vanity presses or print-on-demand publishers are not commercial or academic publishers and are often not considered reputable in academic careers. Some may also be considered predatory publishers. Here are some characteristics that may help to spot vanity presses.

  • Few quality-control measures, including a lack of editorial feedback or peer-review process. This results in the publication of lower quality work.
  • Often will charge authors a fee for publishing their work.
  • May refer to themselves as Joint Venture Publishers or Partnership Publishers. This refers to the idea that the author is an equal partner in the publishing process and is an attempt to justify the charging of author fees. 
  • Books or monographs published by vanity presses are often not available to purchase through reputable booksellers. 

Publishing with a vanity press may result in considerable financial cost, loss of copyright to your work, and damage to your academic reputation. 


The following resources may be useful if you are considering turning your thesis into a monograph.