Compass to publish: assessing the fraudulent nature of an Open Access journal

In Research

This new and unique tool, which has just been released online, aims to help the scientific community to better understand the problem of fake journals and fake publishers. Compass to publish makes it possible to assess the authenticity of Open Access journals by answering a series of questions.


o-called "predatory" journals are a major problem in the world of scientific publishing. These journals hijack the Open Access "author-pays" publishing model by requiring the payment of publication fees without providing the associated editorial services, including peer review. In 2018, it was estimated that there were already more than 10,000 predatory journals. These fake journals massively solicit researchers to publish in their journals, sometimes on a weekly or even daily basis in certain disciplines.

ULiège Library has developed Compass to Publish in order to help researchers in their choice so that they can make their own criteria-based diagnosis of the journals they are interested in. “The researcher is invited to answer a series of questions", explains Paul Thirion, Chief Librarian of ULiège, "and depending on the answers they provide , a degree of reliability concerning the journal will be indicated: from bright red for high-risk journals to dark green for journals that do not show deceptive behaviors.

The tool only evaluates the fraudulent nature of an Open Access journal; it does not evaluate the quality of a journal. "This tool does not pretend to offer a formal evaluation but aims to involve researchers in a critical and analytical process", concludes Paul Thirion.

Test a journal

Find out more about predatory journals

Share this news