Ongoing initiatives are crucial for keeping researchers informed about predatory journals and the fraudulent strategies they use to recruit submissions (see P. Sorokowski et al. Nature 543, 481–483; 2017). For example, these journals will often add names of real researchers to their editorial boards for credibility, but without consent. We urge all scholarly publishers to join the fight against such practices.

Beall's online list of potential, possible or probable predatory open-access publishers, now discontinued, was invaluable for dealing with harassment by predatory journals. An anonymous website now provides a record of the entire list (see, but it will need to be continually updated using Beall's criteria if it is to be effective.

Publishers could help by providing guidelines for choosing reliable journals in which to publish. An example is the 'Think. Check. Submit' initiative (, which is supported by respected organizations and publishers such as the Directory of Open Access Journals and Springer Nature.