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KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Monday, June 21, 2021

Resources for Learning About Predatory Journals in Science

Both readers of science journals and researchers seeking to publish articles in science journals need to be aware of the damage that predatory journals can do to scientific truth and science careers. But what are predatory journals? And why are they dangerous?

An article from Nature says:

Predatory journals are a global threat. They accept articles for publication—along with authors' fees—without performing promised quality checks for issues such as plagiarism or ethical approval. Naive readers are not the only victims. Many researchers have been duped into submitting to predatory journals, in which their work can be overlooked. One study that focused on 46,000 researchers based in Italy found that about 5% of them published in such outlets. A separate analysis suggests predatory publishers collect millions of dollars in publication fees that are ultimately paid out by funders such as the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).

If you're not familiar with the concept of predatory journals, here are some articles that can enlighten you:




Illustration by David Parkins of predatory journals. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03759-y

Unfortunately, some predatory journals have managed to make it into PubMed. Learn about that in the article "How Predatory Journals Leak into PubMed."

This post on the Scholarly Kitchen blog (produced by the Society for Scholarly Publishing) reviews the strengths, features, and weaknesses of the journals blacklist run since 2017 by Cabells, which is accessible only by researchers and institutions who can pay a large fee. Cabells set up its list after academic librarian Jeffrey Beall shut down his free list. Also see this article about Beall's list.

An annual meeting report in Science Editor, the journal of the Council of Science Editors, discusses the impact of predatory journals and how to identify them so that you can avoid them.

And finally, this website lists and links to suspected predatory journals. The site was set up by a small group of scholars and information professionals who wanted to anonymously resurrect Beall's list.

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