Category Archives: Publishing

Predatory Publishing

Some of my colleagues at the Telfer School of Management (and in particular, Vice-Dean Research Wojtek Michalowski) have put considerable effort into preparing the attached information tool for identifying predatory publishers/conferences. They have allowed us to adapt it to the needs of the Faculty of Engineering.

Here are the highlights:

Predatory Publications: What they are and how to avoid them

(Adapted from the Research Office, Telfer School of Management)

Predatory journals and predatory conferences: What you should know

Predatory journals and conferences represent a threat to the integrity of scholarly work as their numbers grow exponentially. Publishing in predatory journals and presenting at predatory conferences is harmful to the reputation of researchers and their institutions, and it may have a negative impact on their ability to attract research funding.

The purpose of this guide is to help identify predatory conferences and predatory journals and to provide a list of available resources for making informed choices. Considering that methods and tactics of soliciting submissions to predatory journals and conferences change constantly and rapidly, this document serves as a general guide and not as an authoritative tool for decision making. Please do your homework before submitting research results.

Definitions

A predatory journal is a journal that promotes itself as a legitimate open-access journal with very quick turnaround time and usually low publication fees. It promises a fast “review” process, and a high acceptance rate – both achieved through questionable peer-review practices. A predatory journal also masquerades as legitimate by having a questionable editorial board and by providing “impact” measures that are not recognized by, for example, Scopus, Web of Science or Scimago.

A predatory conference is an event set up to resemble a legitimate scientific conference, offering some form of refereed conference proceedings. It may offer publication of papers in affiliated (predatory) journals but not always. A predatory conference is often part of a large multi-conference event featuring questionable keynote and invited speakers that may not be top researchers in their fields. The event is marketed primarily for venue location.

Above broad definitions were created using the following sources:

Predatory publishing and conferences criteria from the Beall’s list:
http://beallslist.weebly.com/uploads/3/0/9/5/30958339/criteria-2015.pdf

D. Moher et al., “Stop this waste of people, animals and money,” Nature 2017;549(7670):23-25.

D. Moher and E. Moher, “Stop predatory publishers now: Act collaboratively,” Annals of Internal Medicine 2016;164(9):616-617.
D. Moher and A. Srivastave, “You are invited to submit…,” BMC Medicine 2015;13:180.

Main Features

The features listed below are not exhaustive and should serve as a first checklist to be used when considering a conference to attend or a journal to which to submit scholarly work.
It is important to note, however, that predatory outlets are becoming increasingly better at hiding or downplaying their predatory status. When submitting work to a lesser-known outlet, it is advisable to consult the librarian at the University of Ottawa or to check with colleagues working in similar research areas.

Predatory journal

– Solicits submissions via e-mail campaigns
– Addresses e-mail correspondence personally to a researcher and/or mentions recipient’s past research in the body of the e-mail
– Often proudly mentions that the journal is indexed by Cabell directory, Library of Congress, etc.
– Does not have transparent editorial and peer-review process
– Has nonprofessional web portal and submission guidelines
– Offers very quick turnaround time in accepting submissions
– Lists editorial board of made-up members
– Provides contact information that is insufficient or very difficult to verify
– Makes false claims regarding impact factor or provides fake bibliometrics
– Is not indexed on Scopus, Web of Science and similar bibliographic databases
– Requires lump-sum or per page publication fees (not to be confused with totally legitimate non-refundable submission fees) after the paper is accepted without an option of a free publication in non-open-access format.

Predatory conference

– Solicits submissions via aggressive e-mail campaign
– Addresses e-mail correspondence personally to a researcher and/or mentions recipient’s past research in the body of the e-mail
– Invites researcher to be an invited speaker, distinguished speaker, etc.
– Makes acceptance decision very fast and/or has a rolling acceptance decision policy
– Often run as a multi-conference event with diversified range of topics
– Has a scientific committee composed of either fake members or people completely unknown in the conference’s academic domain
– Is promoted as a tourist attraction more than an academic event.

Resources

There are a number of different resources that should help identify predatory journals or conferences. Some of them are listed below.

The Centre for Journalology at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute has an online guide to help in deciding where to submit a paper. This guide is focused on medical/clinical/health services publications but includes very useful information for other domains:  http://www.ohri.ca/journalology/submission.aspx

The Scimago Journal & Country Rank is a publicly available portal that lists the journals and country scientific indicators developed from the information contained in the Scopus® database. This portal is maintained by a research group from the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, University of Granada, Extremadura, Carlos III (Madrid) and Alcalá de Henares.   http://www.scimagojr.com

Web of Science is a database produced by Clarivate Analytics that lists academic journals and calculates their impact factor. It can be accessed for free through the Library of the University of Ottawa.   Web of Science

The Library at the University of Ottawa maintains a website to help researchers be aware of predatory publishers. The Scholarly Communication Librarian contact information is shown at the bottom of the web page.
https://scholarlycommunication.uottawa.ca/publishing/predatory-publishers

Think, Check, Submit is a portal founded by a number of organizations to help researchers identify legitimate journals for publication of research results.

http://thinkchecksubmit.org

There are also a number of YouTube videos:
What is Predatory Publishing?
How to determine if a Journal is a Predatory Publisher
Identifying Predatory Publishers

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I think it’s sad that it’s come to this, but I just signed the petition “The University of Ottawa Senate: Preserve uOttawa’s library holdings”.  For those who can help, please do so by adding your name to the petition.

 

Our goal is to reach 1,500 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:

 

https://www.change.org/p/the-university-of-ottawa-senate-preserve-uottawa-s-library-holdings?recruiter=61685410&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive