Practice Tip of the Week: Professional Risk from Predatory Publishers & Conferences
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Posted by: Roy Muyinza
By: Ellen Martin, PhD, RN, CPHQ
Director of Practice, Texas Nurses Association
As a new partner of NSO, TNA participated in the NSO Annual Summit and received useful information on practice risks for nurses. Read last week’s practice tip, which covered the opioid epidemic and mass casualty events.
The publishing process for peer-reviewed journals ensures high quality publications through expert peer review. But recently, more and more journals are predatory fronts without quality checks. The predatory movement came with the proliferation of open-access journals. The goal of open access was rapid dissemination of research findings. Gold open access articles are available from the publisher and the author typically retains the copyright. Green open access refers to publication in any journal and the author self-archives a copy that is made available in an institutional repository.
The problem of predatory publishing has been well documented in the literature for the past several years. The International Academy of Nurse Editors (INANE) launched the “Open access, Editorial Standards and Predatory Publishing” initiative in 2014. The term “predatory publishing” was brought to attention by Jeffrey Beall, an academic librarian and blogger. Issues with predatory journals include a named editor with no qualifications (including a dog named Olivia Doll), unscrupulous marketing practices and exorbitant fees for an author to retract an article once they become aware that their work has been published in a disreputable journal.
The risk to researchers is lost time and money. The risk to society is lost science.
The issue of predatory publishing affects all scientific fields, not just nursing. In 2016 there were 923 journals identified as predatory. By 2018 this number was 8,699. Further, the problem has now spread to predatory conferences such as ones held by publisher OMICS International. Members of the International Academy of Nursing Editors decided to attend one of these conferences and found that about half the speakers did not show up and continuing nursing education credit was not offered.
Predatory publishers are getting more sophisticated and harder to detect. Often the publisher sends a research an email with flattery and a compelling offer to share their important research. One red flag is poor spelling or grammar. And a robust peer review process takes time, so if the journal accepts a quickly, be cautious.
What nurses can do:
- Be on the lookout for red flags for conferences such as lack of contact information. Legitimate conferences will have contact information.
- Do a quick internet search on the contact name or publisher sending the solicitation.
- When writing manuscripts, check your reference list carefully. Unfortunately, some of these predatory journals are appearing in Google Scholar. If an author receives federal dollars there is a mandate that the article is listed in PubMed, so PubMed is not completely immune either.
To learn more about choosing the right journal for your research, check out ThinkCheckSubmit.org