After submission of my article, I realized that it was a predatory journal. I asked to withdraw my manuscript but they require to pay half of charges.

What can I do?

If I do not pay, can I submit in a new journal?

  • 6
    Have you already signed and sent the copyright transfer form? Commented May 8, 2020 at 12:10
  • Have you already paid them anything? i.e. you gave them X and they say they will give you refund of X/2 back? Or you've not paid anything yet?
    – Daniel K
    Commented May 8, 2020 at 15:28
  • Don't pay. It will not solve any problems. Commented May 9, 2020 at 2:55
  • This question cannot be answered without reading your correspondence with the journal, which might contain a binding contract that could say anything. Commented May 9, 2020 at 2:59

1 Answer 1


Could you provide some more details? In which country are you based? Where is the journal based? Is the journal WOS-listed?

Here are some basic orientations:

  1. If you are certain that the given journal is a predatory journal, you can certainly retract the publication. Predatory journals are designed to maximise income and minimise expenditure. Accordingly, these journals are certainly not interested in a lawsuit (especially an international lawsuit). Emails are a matter of empty threats in that case.

  2. If you are uncertain about the degree of predatory-ness, simply retract the publication based on the most relevant limition/flaw of your study. State explicitly that you feel that the quality of work does not fit their criteria of "high-quality, peer-reviewed science" (quote whatever the described on the webpage). Write the email in a manner, which puts them in "double bind" dilemma (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_bind). Force them to either agree with the retraction at no cost, or to openly have to admit dishonesty regarding their "high-quality" peer-review process.

  3. If it is just a low-quality but not predatory journal, be fair and go along with the submission this time and stay away from the journal in future.

  • This is bad advice. if you are uncertain if a journal is predatory, do not publish there but do not tell the journal that your article is flawed and should have been rejected. The publisher could use that information to harm you. Commented May 9, 2020 at 2:57
  • The "double bind" will not work. A predatory publisher will either do nothing or publish the paper without admitting anything. Commented May 9, 2020 at 2:57

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