It is common practice for researchers of certain prestige, not necessarily exceptional, to receive frequent invitations to publish or to be part of scientific advisory boards in so-called predatory journals. However, more and more proof is emerging of the scant scientific impact of papers published in these journals. Read our posts on this issue HERE and HERE.

Eager to publish in these journalsNow a scientific study has corroborated this. In fact, it seems that 6 out of 10 papers published in these journals are not cited even once in the five years following their publication. This is due to the generally poor quality of such publications, most of which do not select the articles to be published after peer-review or do so with very loose selection criteria.

In a recent study (read HERE), Bo-Christer Bjork of the Hanken School of Economics in Finland selected 250 journals from a list of 10,000, and compared those published in “predatory magazines” with a similar group of journals included in Google Scholar; he found that more than 60% of articles published in predatory journals are never cited, while this percentage is only 9% in peer-reviewed journals.

Rick Anderson, dean of the University of Utah, a specialist in scientific journals, says that “the finding that 40% of the predatory journal articles drew at least one citation ‘strikes me as pretty alarming’”.

Thus, experts in scientific publications propose to encourage the publication of lists of “predatory journals,” as in fact is already being done, to deter researchers from publishing in them.