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Manage Your Research and Evaluate Your Sources: Predatory Publishing

Covers source evaluation systems, metrics, impact factors, plagiarism, and arranging your materials

A Growing Problem

Predatory Publishing is on the rise. As more research is being published, as organizations require publishing for tenure or advancement, as funding agencies require publication, there are those who seek to make money off the unsuspecting author. These journals generally claiming high impact factors or peer review while close inspection proves otherwise. As more quality journals require authors to pay fees, it becomes easier for fake journals to proliferate, taking money from authors and providing instant (and non-reviewed) publishing.

Reasons People Publish in Predatory Journals

There are a variety of reasons authors may publish in a predatory journal:

  • A mistake - they thought it was a legitimate journal
  • Need to publish something immediately (often for publish/parish reasons) - either because they already have other legitimate publications or because of a deadline
  • Couldn't get published in a legitimate journal - often because the data is incomplete or false (e.g., fake science, science focused on a specific point of view) or because the article didn't meet the requirements of other journals (e.g., a new science)

NIH Steps to Assist Authors

Consider before Publishing.

Characteristics of Fake Journals

Complaints that are associated with predatory open-access publishing include (from Wikipedia, see below)

  • Accepting articles quickly with little or no peer review or quality control, including hoax and nonsensical papers
  • Notifying academics of article fees only after papers are accepted
  • Aggressively campaigning for academics to submit articles or serve on editorial boards
  • Listing academics as members of editorial boards without their permission and not allowing academics to resign from editorial boards
  • Appointing fake academics to editorial boards
  • Mimicking the name or web site style of more established journals
  • Offering fake conference opportunities which can pad resumes
  • Misleading claims about the publishing operation, such as a false location
  • Improper use of ISSNs
  • Fake or non-existent impact factors.