Following the closure of Beall’s list of predatory journals, the scholarly analytics company Cabell’s International launched their own in 2017 called The Journal Blacklist. Last month in their online blog, The Source, Simon Linacre announced that the list had reached a new milestone, although not one that many will be celebrating. After hitting the 10,000 mark late last year, the blacklist has now surpassed this and reached over 12,000 journals, having tripled in size since it was originally launched.
In the blog, Linacre explains that this increase illustrates the ever-growing prevalence of predatory journals, some of which can be found listed on PubMed. He also cites the evaluation methods used to assess whether a journal exhibits predatory behaviours as a key factor; 60 different weighted criteria are used. Linacre uses one predatory journal identified in the list, the “British Journal of Marketing Studies”, as an example of some of the key red flags that may indicate a journal is not legitimate:
- the publisher is responsible for a high number of journals
- the journal falsely claims it is indexed in well-known databases
- it uses misleading metrics that do not exist
- the journal has no peer review policy
- there is no affiliation given for the editor.
Linacre concludes by declaring that “unless researchers learn to spot the signs of what [predatory publishing] looks like, they will continue to get drawn in and waste their research, funding dollars, and even career, on deceptive publishing practices”.
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