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Date: Jul 20, 2018

ULB gives advice on avoiding „Fake Science“ Use our consulting services on scholarly communication!

Following the research done by NDR, WDR and the SZ Magazin, topics such as fake science, fake journals and predatory publishers are being reported about in current news (e. g. tageschau.de or ZEIT ONLINE). Libraries are aware of these problems.

As part of the ULB’s consulting service on scholarly communication, we support researchers and scientists in assessing questionable offers and choosing suitable specialist journals.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact us via email to publizieren@ulb.uni-bonn.de.

For more information on self-assessment of possibly questionable offers we suggest to take a look at the website „Think -Check – Submit“. If any more doubts should arise, feel free to turn to the ULB.

In an individual and confidential consulting service (personally or via email), the following aspects (among others) will be checked together with scientists:

  • Is the journal registered at relevant data bases?
  • For OpenAccess journals, an example would be the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). An indicated Impact Factor can be verified in the Journal Citation Reports data base.
  • Which impression do you get from the website design of the publisher or journal? Are there for example similarities between naming or design of other popular or respectable offers?
  • Which content has already been published via a publication medium?
  • Which impression do you get from the Call for Papers for conferences and scientific journals?


These apects can be indications for a lack of quality assurance processes and for being so-called "Fake Journals". However, assessment can only be effected if certain criteria applies. If one of these aspects applies, an in-depth appraisal seems worthwile and we would be glad to support you.

We are happy to offer a short information meeting to this topic within the University. We are looking forward to your requests via email to publizieren@ulb.uni-bonn.de.

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