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The widely used academic database Scopus hosts papers from more than 300 potentially ‘predatory’ journals that have questionable publishing practices, an analysis has found1. Together, these titles contributed more than 160,000 articles over three years — almost 3% of the studies indexed on Scopus during the period. Their presence on Scopus and other popular research databases raises concerns that poor-quality studies could mislead scientists and pollute the scientific literature.