How can you avoid a “predatory” journal? New research provides guidance

Posted on Friday, March 17, 2017

James Galipeau, Beverley J. Shea, Larissa Shamseer, David Moher

Credit: The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

It is not uncommon for a researcher to receive dozens of emails from “predatory” journals each week. These emails offer to publish academic research in an open access journal, often with rapid peer-review at a discount. But in many cases, they publish garbage and engage in questionable editorial practices. 

Larissa Shamseer, a PhD student, worked with Dr. David Moher ,senior scientist at The Ottawa Hospital and associate professor at the University of Ottawa, and colleagues to establish 13 evidence-based characteristics that researchers can use to help identify predatory journals, based on a detailed evaluation of nearly 300 journals. The list includes items like typos on the journal website, fuzzy or knock-off images, promises of rapid publication, email-based manuscript submission and promoting fake metrics (e.g. Index Copernicus Value). 

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