Incidence of predatory journals in computer science literature

Authors : Simona Ibba, Filippo Eros Pani, John Gregory Stockton, Giulio Barabino, Michele Marchesi, Danilo Tigano


One of the main tasks of a researcher is to properly communicate the results he obtained. The choice of the journal in which to publish the work is therefore very important. However, not all journals have suitable characteristics for a correct dissemination of scientific knowledge.

Some publishers turn out to be unreliable and, against a payment, they publish whatever researchers propose. The authors call “predatory journals” these untrustworthy journals.

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the incidence of predatory journals in computer science literature and present a tool that was developed for this purpose.


The authors focused their attention on editors, universities and publishers that are involved in this kind of publishing process. The starting point of their research is the list of scholarly open-access publishers and open-access stand-alone journals created by Jeffrey Beall.

Specifically, they analysed the presence of predatory journals in the search results obtained from Google Scholar in the engineering and computer science fields. They also studied the change over time of such incidence in the articles published between 2011 and 2015.


The analysis shows that the phenomenon of predatory journals somehow decreased in 2015, probably due to a greater awareness of the risks related to the reputation of the authors.


We focused on computer science field, using a specific sample of queries. We developed a software to automatically make queries to the search engine, and to detect predatory journals, using Beall’s list.

URL : Incidence of predatory journals in computer science literature