Correspondence | Published:

Predatory journals

Ban predators from the scientific record

Nature volume 534, page 326 (16 June 2016) | Download Citation

Predatory journals are threatening the credibility of science. By faking or neglecting peer review, they pollute the scholarly record with fringe or junk science and activist research. I suggest that every publishing stakeholder could contribute to reining in these journals.

Universities and colleges should stop using the quantity of published articles as a measure of academic performance. Researchers and respectable journals should not cite articles from predatory journals, and academic library databases should exclude metadata for such publications.

Companies that supply services to publishers, including those that license journal-management software or provide standard identifiers, should decline to work with predatory publishers.

Scholarly databases such as Scopus and Thomson Reuters Web of Science need to raise the bar for acceptance, eliminating journals and publishers that use flawed peer-review practices. The US National Center for Biotechnology Information should do the same for PubMed and PubMed Central.

Finally, advocates of open-access publication must stop pretending that the author-pays model is free of serious, long-term structural problems (see J. Beall Nature 489, 179; 2012). Just because it works well in a few cases doesn't mean it always works.

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  1. Auraria Library, University of Colorado Denver, USA.

    • Jeffrey Beall


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Correspondence to Jeffrey Beall.

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