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Rapid increase in ‘predatory’ open access journals/articles in the past 5 years

An article published in BMC Medicine in the past week examined the characteristics of predatory journals between 2010 and 2014.

The study found that predatory journals have rapidly increased their publication volumes from 53,000 in 2010 to an estimated 420,000 articles in 2014 (see figure below). These articles were published by around 8,000 active journals.

The study also found that the regional distribution of both the publisher’s country and authorship is highly skewed, in particular Asia and Africa contributed three quarters of authors. Authors paid an average article processing charge of 178 USD per article for articles typically published within 2 to 3 months of submission.

The authors concluded: “In this study, we used a multistage stratified sampling method to take a look into the predatory publishers and journals on Beall’s list and generated their development trend over time. We found that the problems caused by predatory journals are rather limited and regional, and believe that the publishing volumes in such journals will cease growing in the near future. Open access publishing is rapidly gaining momentum, in particular through the actions of major research funders and policy makers. This should create better opportunities for researchers from countries where predatory publishing is currently popular, to get published in journals of higher quality, in particular since most journals have a policy to waive the APCs for authors from developing countries.”

A press release relating to the article can be found here.

Figure from article: The development of active predatory open access journals from 2010 to 2014

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