Unmasking the Hunter: An Exploration of Predatory Publishing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Authors and their institutions are vulnerable to predatory publishers due to the “publish or perish” research mentality. The
author’s spam-filtered emails from journals were collected for 90 days and analysed for 8 stylistic components; the journal
website was explored for publishing fees, research ethics policies, and physical address; the publisher’s physical address
was cross-checked in corporate registries for validation; each journal was checked for indexing in Embase®, MEDLINE®, and
the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). One hundred twenty email solicitations were received from 101 journals.
Overall, 52 (43.3%) solicitations were from specialty medical journals (e.g., endocrinology, cardiology, orthopaedics); 23
(19.2%) were sent from general medicine journals. Flattery (77 emails) and grammar errors (761 total, x̅6.3/email) were
common. Publication fees ranged from free to USD 5,000, with some journals requiring copyright transfer to the publisher
yet charging authors and claiming to be open access. Most journals were found to be based in either India (75.3%) or
Nigeria (17.8%); however, the physical address noted on the journal website was often deceptive (70.3%) or undisclosed
(13.9%). Some of the journals had either no research ethics policy (n=7) or a policy that addressed only plagiarism (n=16).
Guidance to detect predatory publishers is provided.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of Scientific Practice and Integrity
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2020

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