Predatory publishers growing more sophisticated

April 22, 2014

An Ottawa Citizen undercover investigation of predatory publishers highlights the need for universities and academics to proceed warily when evaluating publications. Reporter Tom Spears claimed affiliation with a fictitious university and submitted to 18 journals a heavily plagiarized essay he cobbled together from a variety of sources. Within 24 hours, he had glowing acceptances from 8 self-professed peer-reviewed journals who offered to publish his essay—in exchange for a fee. The sting operation raises issues of trust in the journal publication system. Universities and researchers are becoming increasingly vulnerable to predatory publishers, who are in turn becoming more sophisticated. Some even go so far as to purchase fake impact factors from fabricated ratings agencies. Such publishers make it increasingly difficult for scholars and administrators alike to effectively assess the value of peer-reviewed research. Ottawa Citizen