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description Journal article public Pakistan Journal of Surgery and Medicine

Predatory Journals: a Literature Review

Zouina Sarfraz, Azza Sarfraz, Ammar Anwer, Zainab Nadeem, Shehar Bano, 1 more
Published 2020

Abstract

Background: Predatory publishing is an exploitative fraudulent open-access publishing model. Most predatory journals do not follow policies that are set forth by organizations including the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the Council of Science Editors (CSE), and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Jeffrey Beall, an associate professor at the University of Colorado Denver and a librarian at Auraria Library, coined the term ‘predatory journals' to describe pseudo-journals. Our literature review has highlighted that predatory journal authorship is not limited to early-career researchers only. Majority of authors are unfamiliar with practices in pseudo journals despite publishing manuscripts. Methodology: For the purpose of this review, a systematic literature search was carried in October 2019 of the following databases: (1) Web of Science (all databases), (2) ERIC, and (3) LISTA. All stages of the review process included access to the search results and full articles for review and consequent analysis. Articles were added after screening fulltext articles by meeting the inclusion criteria and meeting none of the exclusion criteria. As there were a high number of articles reporting findings on predatory journals, they were further screened re-evaluating them for any deviations from the theme of this study. Relevant material published within the last five years was used. Results: After a thorough review, 63,133 were located using the Boolean logic. After reviewing 63 abstracts and titles for relevance, 9 articles were included in the literature review. Four themes are concerned with the results of the synthesis that demarcate legitimate and predatory publications. They include factors: (1) Related to the journal, (2) Academic and professional, (3) Dissemination, and (4) Personal. Conclusion: Our literature review found that there is a lack of one single definition for predatory journals. We believe that it is essential for potential authors and young researchers to have clear guidelines and make demarcations of potential journals that seem dubious. Moreover, the authors' selection of publishers should be modified to control the risks of tainting ‘open-access' publishing with fraudulent journals. The academic and research community ought to revise their criteria and recognize high quality and author journals as opposed to ‘predatory' journals. Research mentorship, realigning research incentives, and education is vital to decrease the impact of predatory publishing in the near future.

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