Intended for healthcare professionals


Open access editor roles . . . and other stories

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 29 March 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j1504

Picking out predators

The arrival of the internet has spawned a growth in “predatory” open access journals, which can generate vast mailing lists to bombard anyone with invitations to write about anything. Fortunately, the characteristic features of such journals are usually easy to spot, according to a survey by a group of medical editors and others (BMC Med doi: 10.1186/s12916-017-0785-9). Compared with legitimate journals, they have 10 times as many grammatical errors in their promotional material, and they tend to charge 10 times less to print per article. But the tables were turned when the pseudonymous Dr Szust (meaning “fraud” in Polish) applied to 360 randomly selected open access academic journals asking to be an editor: 48 accepted her and …

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