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Recently I got an at a first glance rather reasonably looking request of an editor of the "Quarterly Physics Review" for collaboration in the context writing a follow-up paper and publishing it in the mentioned journal. 

But when showing the email to one of my collegues he timely warned me that this is a "predatory" open-access journal meantioned on the Beall´s list and that when agreeing to the deal I would have no problems getting through the review process but I would have to pay at least 1250$ as can be seen from point 5 of the author guidelines.

The original Beall´s list has disappeared for unknown reasons and is only available from the webarchive. Has it reopend somewhere else and are there other lists of (and criteria for) insincere open-access publishers any scientist should be aware of?

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I'm afraid blacklists such as Beall's are a poor substitute for an author's own judgement. Like anybody else, authors should read any legal text before they sign it.

Before and after the unexplained withdrawal of Bealls' controversial list, several people on the GOAL mailing list suggested Think. Check. Submit. It characterizes itself as a “cross-industry initiative led by representatives from ALPSP, DOAJ, INASP,  ISSN, LIBER, OASPA, STM, UKSG, and individual publishers.” Its core is not a blacklist but a checklist which I can reproduce here under the terms of CC-BY:

Reference this list for your chosen journal to check if it is trusted.

  • Do you or your colleagues know the journal?
    – Have you read any articles in the journal before?
    – Is it easy to discover the latest papers in the journal?
  • Can you easily identify and contact the publisher?
    – Is the publisher name clearly displayed on the journal website?
    – Can you contact the publisher by telephone, email, and post?
  • Is the journal clear about the type of peer review it uses?
  • Are articles indexed in services that you use?
  • Is it clear what fees will be charged?
    – Does the journal site explain what these fees are for and when they will be
  • Do you recognise the editorial board?
    – Have you heard of the editorial board members?
    – Do the editorial board mention the journal on their own websites?
  • Is the publisher a member of a recognized industry initiative?
    – Do they belong to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) ?
    – If the journal is open access, is it listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) ?
    – If the journal is open access, does the publisher belong to the Open Access Scholarly Publishers’ Association (OASPA) ?
    – Is the publisher a member of another trade association?

Their submit step contains the following advice:

If you can answer ‘yes’ to most or all of the questions on the list.

Complete the check list and submit your article only if you are happy you can answer ‘yes’ to most or all of the questions.

  • You need to be confident your chosen journal will have a suitable profile among your peers to enhance your reputation and your chance of gaining citations.
  • Publishing in the right journal for your research will raise your professional profile, and help you progress in your career.
  • Your paper should be indexed or archived and be easily discoverable.
  • You should expect a professional publishing experience where your work is reviewed and edited.
  • Only then should you submit your article.

There are also whitelists or other blacklists, but the one I saw seemed to be controlled by a single commercial publisher, so I did not take a note of it.

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