Heliyon (Mar 2022)

Editorial misconduct: the case of online predatory journals

  • Cinta Gallent Torres

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 8, no. 3
p. e08999

Abstract

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The number of publishers that offer academics, researchers, and postgraduate students the opportunity to publish articles and book chapters quickly and easily has been growing steadily in recent years. This can be ascribed to a variety of factors, e.g., increasing Internet use, the Open Access movement, academic pressure to publish, and the emergence of publishers with questionable interests that cast doubt on the reliability and the scientific rigor of the articles they publish.All this has transformed the scholarly and scientific publishing scene and has opened the door to the appearance of journals whose editorial procedures differ from those of legitimate journals. These publishers are called predatory, because their manuscript publishing process deviates from the norm (very short publication times, non-existent or low-quality peer-review, surprisingly low rejection rates, etc.).The object of this article is to spell out the editorial practices of these journals to make them easier to spot and thus to alert researchers who are unfamiliar with them. It therefore reviews and highlights the work of other authors who have for years been calling attention to how these journals operate, to their unique features and behaviors, and to the consequences of publishing in them.The most relevant conclusions reached include the scant awareness of the existence of such journals (especially by researchers still lacking experience), the enormous harm they cause to authors' reputations, the harm they cause researchers taking part in promotion or professional accreditation procedures, and the feelings of chagrin and helplessness that come from seeing one's work printed in low-quality journals. Future comprehensive research on why authors decide to submit valuable articles to these journals is also needed.This paper therefore discusses the size of this phenomenon and how to distinguish those journals from ethical journals.

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