Three years ago, I submited my paper to a journal. On their website there was an impact factor. After submitting my work, I discovered that the stated impact factor is not official and the journal does not exist on the PubMed database. So, I decided to withdraw my article from the journal. The journal refused to release my work. Even though I have not signed on author rights and not payed the manuscript publication fees, the journal published the manuscript by force. As I could not change the situation and there were no corrections and I knew that we might fall to learn more I left the matter be.

After about three years of forced publication of my work illegally in that journal, the journal send me a request to pay their money after the forced publication.

Is that logical? Please, inform me of the solution for this trouble? Does the journal that stole my work have rights?

  • 1
    Out of curiosity, did they review the paper( or claim to have done so)?
    – Philip Roe
    Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 3:40
  • Please don’t write answers in comments. It bypasses our quality measures by not having voting (both up and down) available on comments, as well as having other problems detailed on meta. Comments are for clarifying and improving the question; please don’t use them for other purposes. Existing answers in comments and other extended discussion has been moved to chat.
    – cag51
    Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 17:45
  • What part of the world are you (and the journal) located in?
    – cag51
    Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 17:47
  • The Journal is Indian Journal
    – A. S.
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 6:36

4 Answers 4


It is just their "business model". I suggest that you ignore them. If they insist, then ask that the paper be retracted. Apparently you still hold copyright.

However, IANAL, and don't know what legal remedy they might have. If you can reconstruct the complete history of correspondence with them it would be useful.

  • +1, Just ignore them. No use to write emails asking for retraction. Your problem is only in that you cannot send it to another, better journal.
    – Kphysics
    Commented Jul 18, 2021 at 7:31
  • 3
    Can they just give the case over to a collections agency? Those are also prone to go to great lengths to try to bully money out of you, even if the debt has sketchy legal standing.
    – vsz
    Commented Jul 18, 2021 at 19:04
  • I don't know the law where you are, but they might try to do that. In the worst case you need to seek advice from a lawyer. But a collection agency needs to obey the laws. They can't just extort you.
    – Buffy
    Commented Jul 18, 2021 at 19:11
  • 3
    @Buffy: They certainly can extort you -- they wield the implied threat of destroying your credit rating. I have had this happen to me (but not in an academic context), and it cost me a lot of time and worry to sort it out.
    – TonyK
    Commented Jul 18, 2021 at 20:59
  • 1
    legal remedy probably includes suing them for unauthorized reproduction of a copyrighted work. Whether it's useful, I can't say. Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 13:57

You're dealing with a predatory journal. Rights and logic don't apply to predatory journals.

You refuse to pay and tell them to retract the article if they wish.

  • 12
    Rights and logic still absolutely apply to predatory journals. The journals will lie to you about rights, and justify it with faulty logic — but that makes it all the more important to be aware of what the rights and logic really are.
    – PLL
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 12:03
  • 1
    @PLL it's as if Allure has never heard of Bad People doing Bad Things, like threaten and lie.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 20:38

I had a similar situation. I did not know it was a predatory journal.

As Allure wrote, refuse to pay even a penny and ask for a retraction.

Your only fault seems to be that you have submitted, as I did, without a thorough investigation of the journal.


Just what rights the journal has depends on the wording of the website and whatever terms you submitted your work under. A valid contract, at least in US law, requires meeting of the minds and exchange of consideration. If you agreed to terms as a result of a false belief (e.g. you believed that the journal has an impact factor that it does not in fact have, and/or you believed that the journal was in the PubMed database), that can be grounds for invalidating any contract between you, depending on how reasonable it was for you to have and rely on that belief. If that false belief was deliberately induced by the journal, that likely constitutes fraud. If the publication of your paper does not benefit you, that is another grounds for invalidating the contract, as that would mean lack of consideration.

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