Clark et al (1) provide valuable discussion on a very important present-day issue affecting research publication in many emerging low and middle-income countries (LMICs). But predatory journals and their publishers are only half of the problem. The other side of the problem is the low quality of research being done in LMICs because of various reasons including lack of support for research, substandard infrastructure, lack of incentives etc. (2).
A good quality research done anywhere in the world including LMICs gets published in high quality journals without much difficulty and is not sent for publication to the predatory journals. The problem is with the not so good quality research. When researcher knows he won’t be able to publish his work in a good journal or fails to do so, he turns towards these predatory journals which provide easy publication at some cost. Moreover many of these predatory journals are searchable on Google Scholar (Google Inc.) which has gained popularity among researchers in last decade (3).
To address the issue, many good institutes in LMICs are now impressing upon publishing in reputed indexed journals and take into account the Impact Factor (Thomson Reuters), H-Index and other matrices while recruiting and promoting researchers. But in addition to optimizing publication literacy and enforcement of publication guidelines, there is a dire need to improve the overall research in LMICs by enhancing the resources and providing supportive environment for research. Until that happens there will always be a market for these predatory journals.
1. Clark J, Smith R. Firm action needed on predatory journals. BMJ 2015;350:h210.
2. Langer A, Díaz-Olavarrieta C, Berdichevsky K, Villar J. Why is research from developing countries underrepresented in international health literature, and what can be done about it? Bull World Health Organ 2004;82(10):802-3.
3. Bohannon J. Scientific publishing. Google Scholar wins raves--but can it be trusted? Science 2014;343(6166):14.
Competing interests: No competing interests