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ResourcesResearch IntegrityHundreds of scientists have peer-reviewed for predatory journals – Nature (Richard Van Noorden | March 2020)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Hundreds of scientists have peer-reviewed for predatory journals – Nature (Richard Van Noorden | March 2020)

 


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Many of these titles have some editorial oversight — but the quality of reviews is in question.

Hundreds of scientists who post their peer-review activity on the website Publons say they’ve reviewed papers for journals termed ‘predatory’ — although they might not know it. An analysis of the site has found that it hosts at least 6,000 records of reviews for more than 1,000 predatory journals. The researchers who review most for these titles tend to be young, inexperienced and affiliated with institutions in low-income nations in Africa and the Middle East, according to the study, posted to the bioRxiv preprint server on 11 March.

Given how the junk science pollutes the literature and places people at risk, any behaviour that props up questionable publishers is a concern.  We have linked to 11 related items.

The study is the largest yet to examine claims that scientists review for predatory journals. A popular conception of these journals is that they generally publish any manuscript they’re offered for a fee and don’t offer peer review. In fact, journals can be defined as predatory while providing peer review, because they might be deceptive in other ways. But the peer review that these journals conduct might not be to the standard most researchers recognize, says Matt Hodgkinson, head of research integrity at the publisher Hindawi in London. “They are likely going through the motions and using these reviewers as a fig leaf,” he says.
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The reviews, if genuine, might be “a waste of valuable time and effort” by researchers, the study says. Its authors suggest that funders and research institutions should warn against reviewing for predatory titles.
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