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Predatory Journals

Fake News: How to Spot Predatory Journals

Preying on the mandate that academics and scientists “publish or perish,” so-called predatory journals that offer publication in exchange for a fee, have sprung up in recent years. These journals often actively seek out authors and entice them with rapid publications schedules, often without peer review, and sometimes attempt to deceive authors by using similar-sounding titles to reputable journals.

A recent article (published in a well-known journal) sought to point out ways to recognize such journals and to characterize some of the methods used to fool unwitting researchers. If an offer appears in your inbox flattering previous work, asking for a new submission, and promising a quick review and publication for a fee, it’s probably too good to be true.

The authors offer the following tips for protection:

• While indexed journals typically have one official webpage, predatory journals may have several webpage versions for the same title.
• Don’t trust the information listed on a journal’s webpage, check for yourself to see if they are indexed. Predatory journal are not indexed in scientific databases; PubMed, or Medline; so, they will not be listed by JCR, in the Web of Science databases, or in Scopus.
• Predatory journals may use false or slightly modified names of the editors-in-chief, academics, or major editors of indexed journals.
• Be wary of any aggressive marketing campaigns from a journal asking for submissions or offers to become a reviewer, editorial staff member, or consultant.
• Check contact information, journal page address, editorial board members and their affiliations, copyright fee offer, peer review process, and proper impact factor indicator.
• Check whether the journal is a member of the Directory of Open Access Journals ( or Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (

The authors note that using these predatory journals undermines the principles of honesty and scientific integrity conclusions. They state that it is up to authors to be vigilant about fraud and dishonesty of publications to protect the usefulness and reliability of scientific research.
Byline: Martha L. Sikes, MS, RPh, PA-C

Posted: January 2, 2018

Source: Science Direct
Adapted from the original article.

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