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LIS Research Support Weblog: RS Weblog

Combatting predatory academic journals and conferences

by Marijke van der Ploeg on 2022-04-20T13:15:17+02:00 in Publishing, Open Access | Comments

In March 2022, the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) has published a report on “Combatting predatory academic journals and conferences”.

The report focuses on predatory publishing (journals) and predatory conferences. Both are motivated by profit rather than scholarship, soliciting articles and abstracts from researchers through actions that exploit the pressure on researchers to publish and present their work. Features of these practices include, but are not limited to, rapid pay-to-publish or pay-to-present models without rigorous (or even any) peerreview, fake editorial boards falsely listing respected scientists, fraudulent impact factors or metrics, journal and conference titles that are deceptively similar to those of legitimate ones, paid review articles that promote fake science, and aggressive spam invitations to solicit articles and abstracts, including outside of a researcher’s own expertise.

The conclusions of the study are:

  1. Current definitions of so-called predatory academic journals and conferences are inadequate
  2. Awareness and understanding of predatory practices and behaviours are generally poor
  3. Predatory actors and outlets are becoming more sophisticated,
  4. Predatory journals and conferences are on the rise and risk undermining public trust in research and research integrity, and creating significant wastage of research resources
  5. Predatory journals and conferences risk becoming engrained in research culture.
  6. The monetisation and commercialisation of academic research output help drive predatory practices and behaviours
  7. Contemporary research evaluation systems are a major driver of predatory practices.
  8. Predatory practices exploit weaknesses in the peer-review system: the lack of transparency in the peer-review process, and the lack of training, capacity and recognition of peer reviewers.

A recording of the official report launch event webinar (Wednesday March 12, 2022) is available here. It includes an overview of the IAP study on predatory academic journals and conferences as well as recommendations for, and responses from stakeholder communities.

The IAP is a global network of over 140 science, engineering & medical academies working together to provide independent expert advice on scientific, technological & health issues.


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