European Science Editing 49: e113535, doi: 10.3897/ese.2023.e113535
Predatory activities require coordinated action by publisher’ and editors’ organizations: a case report
expand article infoA.J. (Tom) van Loon
‡ Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao, China
Open Access

Background: Scientists are confronted nowadays with a tsunami of requests by preda-tory journals to contribute.

Objectives: To inform potential authors, readers, reviewers, and editors of scien-tific articles about the ever-growing flow of low-quality publications and their neg-ative consequences, based on the author’s personal experience and on scrutiny of more than 360 invitations, received over 4 months, from journals to contribute a manuscript.

Methods: The requests to contribute a manuscript received by the author during 4 months were analysed for the characteristics of the journals and publishers issuing the invitations.

Results: A total of 368 requests were received during 4 months (123 days), on average 3 per day, from a total of 216 journals. Of these, 164 (~76%) were no more than 10 years old, and 129 of the 162 journals (~80%) that sent an invitation to contribute have no editor-in-chief; for 12 journals (~7%), the starting year could not be ascertained. Many journals are not located where they claim to be (typically the UK or the United States) but rather in countries such as India and Singapore. Slightly more than half of 216 journals (~54%) deal with medical matters.

Conclusions: Predatory journals pose a severe threat to the quality of scientific infor-mation, which is why attempts should be made to stop them. A proposal to prepare an indisputable alternative for Beall’s List of potentially predatory journals is presented.

Journal quality, predatory journals, publishing experiment, scientific reliability