One year of unsolicited e-mails: the modus operandi of predatory journals and publishers

Fernanda Santos de Oliveira Sousa, Paulo Nadanovsky, Izabel Monteiro Dhyppolito, Ana Paula Pires dos Santos

Abstract


Objectives: To quantify, characterize and analyze e-mail from predatory journals (PJ) received by an academic in dentistry. Materials and methods: E-mails received in 2019 and suspected of being potentially predatory were pre-selected. The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) checklist was applied to identify the suspected biomedical PJ, including the following criteria: article processing charge (APC), fake impact factor, the journal being listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). We also extracted information on the lack of an impact factor on Journal Citations Reports, non-journal affiliated contact e-mail address, flattering language, article and/or personal citation, unsubscribe link, being listed in the National Library of Medicine (NLM) current catalog and indexed on Medline. Results: A total of 2,812 unsolicited suspected e-mails were received, and 1,837 requested some sort of manuscript; among these, 1,751 met some of the OHRI criteria. Less than half (780/1,837, 42%) referred to some area of dentistry. The median APC was US$399. A false impact factor was mentioned in 11% (201/1,837) of the e-mails, and 27% (504/1,837) corresponded to journals currently listed in the NLM catalog. Journals listed in DOAJ and COPE sent 89 e-mails. Conclusions: The email campaign from PJ was high and recurrent. Researchers should be well informed about PJ’ modus operandi to protect their own reputation as authors and that of science.

Keywords


Biomedical research; Education, Medical Open access publishing; Access to information; Editorial policies; Electronic mail

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22456/2177-0018.114115

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e-ISSN 2177-0018 / ISSN 0566-1854.

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