Can you salvage an article published in a predatory journal?

A reader asked the following question (paraphrased, at their request):

I read your post about Bogus Journals. I have published an article in a predatory journal, and I am wondering what authors in my situation might do to protect their work. Is it acceptable to re-publish the paper in a genuine research journal?

Bound journals on library shelves
© Anna Creech (eclecticlibrarian) | CC BY-NC-SA | Source:

I am afraid that there is little that can be done after the work has been published. When an article is accepted for publication, the author transfers the copyright to the journal publisher. Publishing the same content in a different venue would be a violation of the publisher’s copyright and could lead to legal action being taken. Besides, it is a standard requirement for all reputable journals that the work submitted to them has not been previously published. I understand that it must be very frustrating when a solid piece of research is lost amid the clutter typically found in fly-by-night journals, but there is very little that can be done.

Suggested reading:

  1. Beall’s list of predatory publishers.
  2. Hallmarks of bogus journals.

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