Beware of predatory journals

12. 3. 2021 | Student Life

Beware of predatory journalsAre you a PhD student or a junior scientist? And have you ever heard of predatory journals? If not, read on so that you know how to avoid dangers waiting for young inexperienced authors.

Simply said, the term ‘predatory journals’ refers to fraudulent publications and it’s a growing issue recently. These deceitful publishers want to charge you money for publishing your research paper while trying to convince you that they’re a genuine scientific journal. It can be a real problem for young researchers who wish to be published but they’re rejected by established journals because the quality of their work isn’t high enough just yet or they don’t meet certain criteria.

Martin Srholec and Vít Macháček from Charles University warn against these practices in their study that was published in the respected journal Scientometrics. Together they pointed out that predatory publishing impacted even the world-renowned citation database Scopus which is a shocking revelation.

According to Srholec and Macháček, it’s a problem especially in moderately developed countries of Asia. “For example, in Kazakhstan and Indonesia almost one fifth of all research papers are published in predatory magazines. In Malaysia and India it’s almost one tenth of all articles indexed in Scopus,” they discovered.

How to uncover predatory journals? Besides charging fees, they ignore a proper peer-review process and rigorous editing. They target scholars via mass email spamming and publish even low-quality articles while not checking for credibility. They often give false information about members of their editorial board and fake impact factors.

So check a journal twice, even three times before deciding to publish in it. Read Srholec and Macháček’s study; the website Stop Predatory Journals is helpful as well. Better be safe than sorry.

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