“Greetings of the day”, “Dear Colleague”, “Dear Dr.Vilhelmsson A”, “Dear Dr. Vilhelmsson Andreas”
These are just a few examples of how I have been greeted in emails from predatory journals in the last couple of weeks. Almost all wishes me “good health” or believe that my research will be of “great benefit to mankind” as they invite me to join editorial boards or submit any manuscript of my liking for fast publication in upcoming journal numbers or attend conferences.
Predatory publishers (we prefer the term questionable publishers) have been the scourge of academic publishing for some time. Apparently, the number of questionable publishers now surpasses the number of legitimate titles. Now it seems they are evolving in ways that make them harder to detect, but no less toxic.
A known unknown problem
For the last few years what has been called predatory publishing have got a lot of attention from the scientific community. I myself wrote about the misuse of open access and predatory publishing already in 2017 and since then the problem seems only to have gotten worse. According to a comment in Nature, the number of journals has grown faster than the number of publications, suggesting that many of these journals are basically shells with little content. It is also believed that there are now more predatory journals than real ones (over 15,500).