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Fake News, Misinformation and Disinformation: Overview

Definitions and Types of Misleading Information

Fake News


  1. false news stories, often of a sensational nature, created to be widely shared or distributed for the purpose of generating revenue, or promoting or discrediting a public figure, political movement, company, etc.
  2. a parody that presents current events or other news topics for humorous effect in an obviously satirical imitation of journalism.
  3. Sometimes Facetious. (used as a conversational tactic to dispute or discredit information that is perceived as hostile or unflattering).



Why the Term ‘Fake News’ is Problematic

Misinformation and the Ukrainian Conflict


“The term deepfake is typically used to refer to a video that has been edited using an algorithm to replace the person in the original video with someone else (especially a public figure) in a way that makes the video look authentic.”


Predatory Publishers

What is a Predatory Publisher?


Predatory Publishing is an exploitative publishing model which targets academia.

Predatory Publishers charge publication fees to authors (often referred to as article processing charges); however, the publishers forego peer-review processes and do not check the research submitted for quality and legitimacy.

Predatory publishers fail to provide editorial and publishing services that legitimate academic journals provide. They also engage in unethical practices regarding a journal’s impact factor, indexing and academic standards. This is often seen with Open Access resources; however, it is not limited to Open Access alone.


Common characteristics of Predatory Journals include:

  • Claims to be a peer reviewed open access publication but does not provide adequate peer review or the level of peer review promised
  • Advertises a Journal Impact Factor or other citation metric on the website that is incorrect or cannot be verified.
  • May advertise an unrealistic timeline for publication.
  • Publishes all articles for which authors pay an APC even if the article is low quality, unrelated to the topic of the journal, or nonsensical.
  • Publishes articles that have little or no copyediting
  • Editorial board includes people who do not exist, do not have credentials relevant to the topic of the journal, have affiliations that cannot be verified, or are real people who are not aware that they are listed as members.
  • Mimics name or website of other well-known, legitimate journals.
  • Aggressively targets potential authors through emails.
  • May state that offices are in one country but contact details are in another.
  • Solicitation emails contain grammatical errors of phishing scams.
  • Lack of transparency about acceptance process or APCs, so that authors do not how much they will be charged until their article is accepted.
  • Requires authors sign away their copyright to the article at the time of submission, making it impossible for the author to submit the article to another publisher.
  • Publishes articles submitted before the authors have signed the publishing agreement, then refuses to take the article down if the author withdraws the submission.
  • Removes articles or entire journals from the web without warning or informing authors.

Source: DOI: 10.1177/0192623320920209



This project and the eBook collections noted in this guide were made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services- American Rescue Plan Act Grant: G14524

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