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Active against Predatory Publishing

The University of Bremen is actively combating the phenomenon of predatory publishers. Even before the media coverage on the topic in the summer of 2018, there were various information and advisory services available.

The university has now reviewed this and intensified it together with the State and University Library (SuUB). The Research Committee of the Academic Senate is also working on how to prevent scientists at the University of Bremen from falling for predatory publishers.

The media addressed the practices of predatory publishers in the summer of 2018. Journalists’ research shows that almost the entire German science system is affected by the machinations of predatory publishers. Nevertheless, for the University of Bremen open access remains an indispensable part of scientific publication culture in the digital age. It continues to advocate this form of publication. Sensitized by the media coverage, it is intensifying its activities in providing information  about the black sheep among publishers.

University and President Give Their Opinions

As a first step, in July the University Executive Board informed all scientists about the business model of the predatory publishers and drew their attention to the advisory services offered by the State and University Library. The university  and President commented on the issue on the university home page. In a letter to the president of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation – DFG), Professor Bernd Scholz-Reiter suggested that the DFG should work together with its member institutions to deal appropriately with the phenomenon of predatory publishers.

Academic Senate Assigns Research Commission

In addition, the University responded to numerous media inquiries about predatory publishing. Among other things, a detailed interview with the President was published in the newspaper Weser-Kurier (in German only). After the end of the summer break, the academic senate also discussed the topic in detail. As a result, the research commission, as well as the State and University Library, were assigned to work out measures and recommendations for quality assurance in the publication process. The aim is to systematize, update, and supplement the existing quality assurance measures.

Offers of the State and University Library

The State and University Library regularly provides information on open access and about predatory publishers in this context. Scientists can also seek personal advice there if they wish to publish their research results with open access. The library addressed the current media reports within the framework of a panel discussion entitled “Open Access in Zeiten von Raubverlagen” (open access in times of predatory publishing – in German only), which, in November, raised the question of the possible impact of predatory publishing on the idea of open access.

Creating Good Framework Conditions

The freedom of science remains unaffected by all these measures. In the end, each individual researcher is responsible for their own publications. However, the University of Bremen sees itself as responsible for setting the framework conditions in such a way that all its scientists become aware of the practices of predatory publishers and journals.


Additional Information:

Statement from the German Rectors’ Conference:

Statement from the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany:


The university of Bremen