As we’ve discussed in these GEITP pages a number of times before, approximately 15,000 “predatory online open-access journals” have popped up during these past 6-8 years, with their primary goal to make a lot of money –– whether or not any solid science is ever published in their “journal”. These “journals” will publish almost any paper –– if scientists are willing to pay. However, some of these “journals” [see attached brief note] also seem happy to help researchers who have nothing to publish at all. 🙂
Pravin Bolshete (a medical writer at Tata Consultancy Services in Thane, India) decided to send hundreds of such journals and publishers an email from a fictitious researcher, simply asking to become coauthor on an existing manuscript. Alternatively, was there any way for him to have the entire paper written for him? Of the 117 publishers that responded, 19 said they would add his name; and so did the editors of three out of 35 stand-alone journals. Some offered to write a paper and publish it for this fictitious author, while others promised to publish one on any subject if he wrote it himself.
At least 54% of the publishers, and 49% of the journals, behaved “unethically,” concluded Bolshete. He presented his work, surveying more than one hundred journals and publishers, as a poster at the Eighth International Congress on Peer Review and Scientific Publication in Chicago, Illinois, on 11 September.
Science 22 Sept 2o17; 357: 1218