Dear predatory journal….

I am sick of predatory journals. I’m sick of them emailing me with invites to submit to their ‘doesn’t at all fit the research I do’ remit, and even worse doing so with mixed fonts…..

I’m most sick though of two things:

Firstly, the money they fraudulently obtain by trading off the academic pressure to ‘publish or perish’. These pariahs are quite happy to steal money from tight research budgets and hang often new researchers out to dry.

Secondly, the way they magic-up an editorial board using the images and names of real people. Real professionals who’ve worked hard to build their reputation. This case from Coventry shows how easy it is for good people to suddenly find their good name has been used to legitimise fakery.

Apart from not submitting to these journals, it’s hard to practically challenge the first point. But we must train our academic communities to be alert and recognise the signs. Keep em peeled (as an 80s UK crime show used to say)

On the second point – my new policy when I’m invited by Predatorosaur is to check the editorial board and contact those listed. Sure some are also likely fake, but if you were a real academic and your name and face were used, wouldn’t you want someone to alert you???

I’ve been chased by a particular Predatorosaur over the last few weeks. And let’s say they were getting a teensy bit double glazing salesman about the whole thing. I fully expected them to turn up at my door with a brochure and an unwillingness to leave. So I decided to go all Poirot….long story short you will be unsurprised to know that the listed senior editor (a medical professor in America) had never heard of them. *shock*. She is now taking steps to have her name removed and I’m contacting the other authors asap.

Friends, Romans, countrymen…..when you too get a fake journal email, consider letting the people whose faces have been stolen know. I know I’d appreciate it. Bet you would too.

And if you’re interested, here’s my reply to Predatorosaur.

One thought on “Dear predatory journal….

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