Predatory publishing can bring harm not only to the individual but also to the integrity of the scientific record and the reputation of scholarly publishing. Predatory journals provide readers with content that has not been properly vetted and is often of poor quality. Citations to articles from predatory journals, which occur with some regularity in legitimate journals, risk providing misinformation to readers.
One purpose of publishing is to enhance the reputation and visibility of the author and gain recognition for the work that has been done. Predatory publishers rarely enhance reputations and in extreme cases may result in lasting damage. Even if the individual research is rigorous there is little to be gained by having it sit alongside research that is substandard or even wrong. Falling into the trap of predatory publishing could hinder future publishing opportunities for the author. According to the experience of victims, it is usually very difficult to withdraw a submitted paper from a predatory publisher. Sometimes, predatory publishers will publish a manuscript without the author's permission, making it unlikely to be publishable anywhere else.
When you decide to publish your article with a legitimate publisher, they will provide services such as peer-review, archiving, discovery services that enable others to find your work easily, and copyright protection. Predatory journals do not provide such services. Therefore the dangers of publishing in a predatory journal can include:
Predatory publishers often promise a rigorous, yet speedy peer-review process. Rigorous peer-review is a time-consuming process. It cannot be completed in the short time promised by most predatory journals. The peer review process:
Legitimate publishers are committed to preserving your published work. Predatory publishers are focused on making money, and do not care about preserving the articles they "publish." Papers published with predatory publishers could disappear from the journal’s website at any time. This makes it difficult to prove that your paper was ever published in the journal when applying for promotion.
Predatory publishers often claim to be indexed in popular databases such as Scopus, PubMed, or Web of Science, when they are not actually included in these resources.
In summary, publishing in a predatory journal can hurt your reputation, and the reputation of your institution, and could be harmful to your career advancement.