Questionable Journals Fake Legitimacy

September 13, 2019

The problem of shoddy or fraudulent research being published as quality work continues to grow, and it is becoming harder to tell the good from the bad. Research Stash describes “How Fake Scientific Journals Are Bypassing Detection Filters.” In recent years, regulators and the media have insisted scientific journals follow certain standards. Instead of complying, however, some of these “predatory” journals have made changes that just make them look like they have mended their ways. The write-up cites a study out of the Gandhinagar Institute of Technology in India performed by Naman Jain, a student of Professor Mayank Singh. Writer Dinesh C Sharma reports:

“The researchers took a set of journals published by Omics, which has been accused of publishing predatory journals, with those published by BMC Publishing Group. Both publish hundreds of open access journals across several disciplines. Using data-driven analysis, researchers compared parameters like impact factors, journal name, indexing in digital directories, contact information, submission process, editorial boards, gender, and geographical data, editor-author commonality, etc. Analysis of this data and comparison between the two publishers showed that Omics is slowly evolving. Of the 35 criteria listed in the Beall’s list and which could be verified using the information available online, 22 criteria are common between Omics and BMC. Five criteria are satisfied by both the publishers, while 13 are satisfied by Omics but not by BMC. The predatory publishers are changing some of their processes. For example, Omics has started its online submission portal similar to well-known publishers. Earlier, it used to accept manuscripts through email. Omics dodges most of the Beall’s criteria to emerge as a reputed publisher.”

Jain suggests we update the criteria for identifying quality research and use more data analytics to identify false and misleading articles. He offers his findings as a starting point, and we are told he plans to present his research at a conference in November.

Cynthia Murrell, September 13, 2019

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