Page 3 - IDEA Study 2 2017 Predatory journals in Scopus
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Study 2 / 2017

     Predatory journals in Scopus1

                                                   MARCH 2017

                              VÍT MACHÁČEK and MARTIN SRHOLEC


 The study maps the penetration of so-called “predatory” scholarly journals into
    the citation database Scopus. Predatory journals exploit the author pays open access
    model, and conduct only cursory or no peer review, despite claims to the contrary.
    Some such journals will publish almost anything for money. In the Czech context
    whether a journal is indexed in Scopus is crucial for determining the points that
    publications in that journal are awarded in the national performance-based
    evaluation of research organizations, which in turn is the basis for the allocation
    of institutional funding. Hence, in this evaluation framework, publishing in predatory
    journals that are indexed in Scopus has a clear “fiscal” advantage.

 Our analysis is based on a survey of “potential, possible, or probable” predatory
    journals by Jeffrey Beall at the University of Colorado. He maintains a blog with two
    regularly updated lists: i) a list of standalone journals, which contains individual
    predatory journals; and ii) a list of publishers, which implicates questionable
    publishing houses, usually with multiple journals. Beall’s lists suffer from their own
    limitations but are – in our view – representative enough of the overall problem
    of predatory publishing.

 Using the Ulrichsweb register we compiled a comprehensive database of the journals
    that Jeffrey Beall considers predatory. The database covers both standalone journals,
    the names of which are easily obtained directly from Beall’s first list, as well as the
    journals issued by predatory publishers in Beall’s second list. We then searched
    Scopus using the ISSN of each predatory journal in our database. To the best of our
    knowledge, the resulting database provides the first ever overview of predatory
    journals in Scopus.

1 This study received support from the research programme Strategy AV21 of the Czech Academy
of Sciences. We would like to thank Daniel Münich for his comments. Any ambiguities, omissions or errors
are the authors' responsibility.

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