1. What is the role of medical journals?
    • Indispensable role as a purveyor of accurate knowledge and science.
    • Trusted source of information for healthcare professionals.
    • Pressure on medical journals to publish articles faster.
    • Money-making operations instead of information-sharing operations.
  2. What is predatory open access publishing?
    • Charge publication fees without providing a high-quality peer-review.
    • Promote fabricated data, duplications (published previously), and academic plagiarism.
    • Erodes public confidence in the medical profession.
    • Cannot publish anything misleading that could cause harm.
    • Producing high-quality papers requires a large amount of human effort.
  3. Why is it happening?
    • Pressure to publish articles as fast as possible.
    • Getting the information to the public when they need it.
    • Landmark papers often take years.
    • Truly emergent publications are rare.
    • Clarity is always more important than speed.
    • Process-changing papers need more rigorous review to ensure accuracy.
  4. How do you recognize a predatory journal?
    • Look at the totality of what the Journal does.
    • Look closely at a journal’s editor and staff.
    • Is the owner also the editor in every issue?
    • Is there no editor identified?
    • What is the academic information provided regarding the editor—is it substantive?
    • Are there more than 3 editorial board members listed?
    • Review the journal’s business.
    • What are the policies regarding digital preservations?
    • Did it pop-up with a fleet of journals from the start or grow more slowly?
    • Is there sufficient information about the author fees?
    • Check the overall integrity of the journal.
    • Does its name match its vision and mission?
    • Is it falsely claiming a Thomson-Reuter impact factor?
    • Did they copy their author guidelines from another journal?
    • Do they have a robust retraction policy?
  5. Who is fighting back?
    • Estimated 420,000 articles published from predatory journals in 2014.
    • In 2016, the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against several journals.
    • ‘Experiments’ submitting fake articles for submission to test the background vetting systems of hundreds of journals.
    • Lists available of predatory journals
    • Beall’s List
    • Cabell’s List.
  6. Ending Advice
    • Do the best research that you can.
    • Find an important question, get the best tools, get answers, and move your field forward.
    • Despite the content of this article, it’s not where an article was published that is most important, but what was published.
    • Put your voice where you will reach the most people. Get it right, because someone will use your information to treat their next patient.

Bibliography

  • Bauchner, H. & Drazen, J. The Future of Journal Publishing. (2017).
  • Kolata, G. A Scholarly Sting Operation Shines a Light on ‘Predatory’ Journals. The New York Times (2017).
  • Elliott, C. On Predatory Publishers: a Q&A With Jeffrey Beall. The Chronicle of Higher Education Blogs: Brainstorm (2012).
  • Bohannon, J. Who’s Afraid of Peer Review? Science 342, 60–65 (2013).
  • Open-Access Publisher Appears to Have Accepted Fake Paper From Bogus Center. The Chronicle of Higher Education (2009).
  • Sanderson, K. Two new journals copy the old. Nat. News 463, 148–148 (2010).
  • Caplan, A. The Problem of Publication-Pollution Denialism. Elsevier 90, 565–566 (2015).
  • Beall’s List of Predatory Journals and Publishers – Publishers. Available at: https://beallslist.weebly.com/. (Accessed: 21st December 2017)
  • Shen, C. & Bjork, B.-C. ‘Predatory’ open access: a longitudinal study of article volumes and market characteristics. BMC Med. 13, (2015).
  • Straumsheim, C. ‘Predatory’ Publishing Up. Inside Higher ED (2015).
  • Oransky, I. & Marcus, A. Are ‘predatory’ publishers’ days numbered? STAT (2016).
  • U.S. government agency sues publisher, charging it with deceiving researchers. Retraction Watch (2016).
  • Kluger, J. Dozens of Scientific Journals Offered Her a Job. But She Didn’t Exist. Time
  • Society for Scholarly Publishing. http://www.cabells.org. Cabell’s Scholarly Analytics Available at: http://www.cabells.org/. (Accessed: 21st December 2017)
  • Anderson, R. Cabell’s New Predatory Journal Blacklist: A Review. The Scholarly Kitchen (2017)