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InfoGuides | Pepperdine Libraries

Psychology 690 Community/Clinical Research and Service - Dr. Erin Cantwell: Predatory Journals and Google Scholar

What is a predatory journal?

“Predatory” refers to the fact that these entities prey on academicians for financial profit via article processing charges for open access articles, without meeting scholarly publishing standards .

Clark J, Smith R. Firm action needed on predatory journals [Electronic version]. BMJ 2015;350:h210. Accessed February 14th 2017. Available at:
predatory_journals/links/56f8f0cc08ae81582bf40ff0.pdf. https://doi. org/10.1136/bmj.h210


"... such journals do not provide the peer review that is the hallmark of traditional scholarly publishing. "...
 "Identifying such journals is important for authors, researchers, peer reviewers, and editors, because scientific work that is not properly vetted should not contribute to the scientific record."  p. 285

Although predatory journals may claim to conduct peer review and mimic the structure of legitimate journals, they publish all or most submitted material without external peer review and do not follow standard policies advocated by organizations such as the WAME (World Association of Medical Editors), the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), and the Council of Science Editors (CSE) regarding issues such as archiving of journal content, management of potential conflicts of interest, handling of errata, and transparency of journal processes and policies including fees.
A common practice among predatory publishers is sending frequent e-mails to large numbers of individuals soliciting manuscript submission and promising rapid publication for author fees that may be lower than those of legitimate author-pays journals. In the most egregious cases, they collect publication fees but the promised published articles never appear on the journal website.
Laine, C., & Winker, M. A. (2017). Identifying predatory or pseudo-journals. Biochemia Medica27(2), 285-291. doi:10.11613/BM.2017.031


What does Google Scholar have to do with this issue?

Predatory journals are accessible in Google Scholar.  

In Google Scholar, researchers are unable to search specifically for peer reviewed or scholarly articles. 
(and...predatory journals are difficult to identify)

Good News:  The Pepperdine Library's research databases do not include predatory journals.

Predatory Publishing & Journals

Open access is an important step forward in the evolution of scholarly scientific communication.

As with most things, a number of people are using this positive development for their own self-interested purposes.  In the realm of open access journals, this comes in the form of "predatory" publishers of open access journals.  

Explore some of the more egregious examples of articles published in predatory journals (click on the links below):

*A Scholarly Sting Operation Shines a Light on ‘Predatory’ Journals   |  Predatory Journals Recruit Fake Editor

*Predatory Journals Hit by "Star Wars" Sting

*Opinion: Why I published in a Predatory Journal

Tools (more links)

Think Check Submit website
Sharing research results with the world is key to the progress of your discipline and career. But with so many publications, how can you be sure you can trust a particular journal? Follow this check list to make sure you choose trusted journals for your research.

Beall's List (of predatory journals & publishers - archived)
This is an archived version of the Beall's list - a list of potential predatory publishers created by a librarian Jeffrey Beall.  This website includes a list of standalone journal titles as well.

Directory of Open Access Journals
DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals. DOAJ is independent. All funding is via donations, 40% of which comes from sponsors and 60% from members and publisher members. All DOAJ services are free of charge including being indexed in DOAJ. All data is freely available.

Thirteen Ways to Spot a Predatory Journal
News article from Times Higher Education

Infographic (click link for larger version of image below)