Revisiting the Term Predatory Open Access Publishing

Author : Aamir Raoof Memon

Since the 1990s, scholarly publishing has been transformed from subscription print-based paradigm to an open access and digital publishing model, but this transformation has been accompanied by unethical and predatory publishing practices.

‘Pay-to-publish’ predatory journals abuse the open-access publishing model, and their main intention is to make money out of authors for their editor–owners. The defining characteristic of predatory journals is the lack of a proper peer review process, despite their claims to the contrary.

The spectrum of victims of predatory journals varies widely and includes inexperienced, early-career and naive researchers from both developing and high- to upper middle-income countries, together with experienced researchers.

To circumvent this, several black and whitelists have been created. Beall’s list of potential or probable predatory journals remained the go-to list until its sudden closure.

Later, similar lists such as the Stop Predatory Journals website (, and institutional lists such as those published by the University Grants Commission (UGC) India, and several other commercial bodies and associations appeared; however, they have been criticized for several reasons, including their poor methodology and lack of transparency.

The world of scholarly publishing is not purely black and white, and there are always some grey areas; therefore, we cannot rely on any such listings.

URL : Revisiting the Term Predatory Open Access Publishing


Predatory publications in evidence syntheses

Authors : Amanda Ross-White, Christina M. Godfrey, Kimberley A. Sears, Rosemary Wilson


The number of predatory journals is increasing in the scholarly communication realm. These journals use questionable business practices, minimal or no peer review, or limited editorial oversight and, thus, publish articles below a minimally accepted standard of quality.

These publications have the potential to alter the results of knowledge syntheses. The objective of this study was to determine the degree to which articles published by a major predatory publisher in the health and biomedical sciences are cited in systematic reviews.


The authors downloaded citations of articles published by a known predatory publisher. Using forward reference searching in Google Scholar, we examined whether these publications were cited in systematic reviews.


The selected predatory publisher published 459 journals in the health and biomedical sciences. Sixty-two of these journal titles had published a total of 120 articles that were cited by at least 1 systematic review, with a total of 157 systematic reviews citing an article from 1 of these predatory journals.


Systematic review authors should be vigilant for predatory journals that can appear to be legitimate. To reduce the risk of including articles from predatory journals in knowledge syntheses, systematic reviewers should use a checklist to ensure a measure of quality control for included papers and be aware that Google Scholar and PubMed do not provide the same level of quality control as other bibliographic databases.



Open access medical journals: Benefits and challenges

Authors : Jenny Z.Wang, Aunna Pourang, Barbara Burrall

The world of medical science literature is ever increasingly accessible via the Internet. Open access online medical journals, in particular, offer access to a wide variety of useful information at no cost.

In addition, they provide avenues for publishing that are available to health care providers of all levels of training and practice. Whereas costs are less with the publishing of online open access journals, fewer resources for funding and technical support also exist.

A recent rise in predatory journals, which solicit authors but charge high fees per paper published and provide low oversight, pose other challenges to ensuring the credibility of accessible scientific literature.

Recognizing the value and efforts of legitimate open access online medical journals can help the reader navigate the over 11,000 open access journals that are available to date.


Being a deliberate prey of a predator: Researchers’ thoughts after having published in predatory journal

Authors: Najmeh Shaghaei, Charlotte Wien, Jakob Pavl Holck, Anita L. Thiesen, Ole Ellegaard, Evgenios Vlachos, Thea Marie Drachen

A central question concerning scientific publishing is how researchers select journals to which they submit their work, since the choice of publication channel can make or break researchers.

The gold-digger mentality developed by some publishers created the so-called predatory journals that accept manuscripts for a fee with little peer review. The literature claims that mainly researchers from low-ranked universities in developing countries publish in predatory journals.

We decided to challenge this claim using the University of Southern Denmark as a case. We ran the Beall’s List against our research registration database and identified 31 possibly predatory publications from a set of 6,851 publications within 2015-2016.

A qualitative research interview revealed that experienced researchers from the developed world publish in predatory journals mainly for the same reasons as do researchers from developing countries: lack of awareness, speed and ease of the publication process, and a chance to get elsewhere rejected work published.

However, our findings indicate that the Open Access potential and a larger readership outreach were also motives for publishing in open access journals with quick acceptance rates.

URL : Being a deliberate prey of a predator: Researchers’ thoughts after having published in predatory journal


Negative Effects of “Predatory” Journals on Global Health Research

Authors : Diego A. Forero, Marilyn H. Oermann, Andrea Manca, Franca Deriu, Hugo Mendieta-Zerón, Mehdi Dadkhah, Roshan Bhad, Smita N. Deshpande, Wei Wang, Myriam Patricia Cifuentes

Predatory journals (PJ) exploit the open-access model promising high acceptance rate and fast track publishing without proper peer review. At minimum, PJ are eroding the credibility of the scientific literature in the health sciences as they actually boost the propagation of errors.

In this article, we identify issues with PJ and provide several responses, from international and interdisciplinary perspectives in health sciences.

Authors, particularly researchers with limited previous experience with international publications, need to be careful when considering potential journals for submission, due to the current existence of large numbers of PJ.

Universities around the world, particularly in developing countries, might develop strategies to discourage their researchers from submitting manuscripts to PJ or serving as members of their editorial committees.

URL : Negative Effects of “Predatory” Journals on Global Health Research


What Value Do Journal Whitelists and Blacklists Have in Academia?

Authors : Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva, Panagiotis Tsigaris

This paper aims to address the issue of predatory publishing, sensu lato. To achieve this, we offer our perspectives, starting initially with some background surrounding the birth of the concept, even though the phenomenon may have already existed long before the popularization of the term “predatory publishing”.

The issue of predation or “predatory” behavior in academic publishing is no longer limited to open access (OA). Many of the mainstream publishers that were exclusively subscription-based are now evolving towards a state of complete OA.

Academics seeking reliable sources of journals to publish their work tend to rely on a journal’s metrics such as citations and indexing, and on whether it is blacklisted or whitelisted.

Jeffrey Beall raised awareness of the risks of “predatory” OA publishing, and his blacklists of “predatory” OA journals and publishers began to be used for official purposes to distinguish valid from perceived invalid publishing venues.

We initially reflect on why we believe the blacklists created by Beall were flawed, primarily due to the weak set of criteria confusing non-predatory with true predatory journals leading to false positives and missing out on blacklisting true predatory journals due to false negatives.

Historically, most critiques of “predatory publishing” have relied excessively on Beall’s blacklists to base their assumptions and conclusions but there is a need to look beyond these.

There are currently a number of blacklists and whitelists circulating in academia, but they all have imperfections, such as the resurrected Beall blacklists, Crawford’s OA gray list based on Beall’s lists, Cabell’s new blacklist with about 11,000 journals, the DOAJ with about 11,700 OA journals, and UGC, with over 32,600 journals prior to its recent (May 2018) purge of 4305 journals.

The reader is led into a discussion about blacklists’ lack of reliability, using the scientific framework of conducting research to assess whether a journal could be predatory at the pre- and post-study levels. We close our discussion by offering arguments why we believe blacklists are academically invalid.

URL : What Value Do Journal Whitelists and Blacklists Have in Academia?


Predatory Open Access Journals Publishing: What, Why and How?

Author : Shamprasad M. Pujar

The Internet has transformed scholarly publishing and made the availability of online resources possible, both in subscription and open access models. Open access, has enabled wider access to the scholarly literature, thus reducing the digital divide among the haves and have-nots.

In the case of journal articles, even though its ‘Gold’ (author pays model) and ‘Green’ access models have risen to the occasion, but some publishers of journals have turned its ‘Gold’ model to their advantage to earn a profit by charging fees for publication and adopting certain unethical practices of publishing.

An effort has been made here to explore what is ‘Predatory’ open access journals publishing, why this kind of publishing is flourishing and how this model works.