To conduct a Delphi survey informing a consensus definition of predatory journals and publishers.
This is a modified three-round Delphi survey delivered online for the first two rounds and in-person for the third round. Questions encompassed three themes: (1) predatory journal definition; (2) educational outreach and policy initiatives on predatory publishing; and (3) developing technological solutions to stop submissions to predatory journals and other low-quality journals.
Post Beall’s List (and truth be told while the list was live) an agreed definition of predatory publishers (questionable publishers) is essential. Also a good sense of their impact is very important. This recent open access paper is a great step in the right direction.
A total of 115 individuals (107 in round 1 and 45 in rounds 2 and 3) completed the survey on predatory journals and publishers. We reached consensus on 18 items out of a total of 33 to be included in a consensus definition of predatory journals and publishers. We came to consensus on educational outreach and policy initiatives on which to focus, including the development of a single checklist to detect predatory journals and publishers, and public funding to support research in this general area. We identified technological solutions to address the problem: a ‘one-stop-shop’ website to consolidate information on the topic and a ‘predatory journal research observatory’ to identify ongoing research and analysis about predatory journals/publishers.
In bringing together an international group of diverse stakeholders, we were able to use a modified Delphi process to inform the development of a definition of predatory journals and publishers. This definition will help institutions, funders and other stakeholders generate practical guidance on avoiding predatory journals and publishers.
Cukier S., Lalu M., Bryson GL., Cobey,. K. D., Grudniewicz, A. & Moher, D (2020) Defining predatory journals and responding to the threat they pose: a modified Delphi consensus process. BMJ Open 10:e035561. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-035561
Publisher (Open Access): https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/10/2/e035561.full