A walk on the wild side

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Date
2019-03-01
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
16
462-477
Series
Research Policy, Volume 48, issue 2
Abstract
In recent years the academic world has witnessed the mushrooming of journals that falsely pretend to be legitimate academic outlets. We study this phenomenon using information from 46,000 researchers seeking promotion in Italian academia. About 5% of them have published in journals included in the blacklist of ‘potential, possible, or probable predatory journals’ elaborated by the scholarly librarian Jeffrey Beall. Data from a survey that we conducted among these researchers confirms that at least one third of these journals do not provide peer review or they engage in some other type of irregular editorial practice. We identify two factors that may have spurred publications in dubious journals. First, some of these journals have managed to be included in citation indexes such as Scopus that many institutions consider as a guarantee of quality. Second, we show that authors who publish in these journals are more likely to receive positive assessments when they are evaluated by (randomly selected) committee members who lack research expertise. Overall, our analysis suggests that the proliferation of ‘predatory’ journals reflects the existence of severe information asymmetries in scientific evaluations.
Description
Keywords
Academic evaluations, Scientific misconduct
Other note
Citation
Bagues , M , Sylos-Labini , M & Zinovyeva , N 2019 , ' A walk on the wild side : ‘Predatory’ journals and information asymmetries in scientific evaluations ' , Research Policy , vol. 48 , no. 2 , pp. 462-477 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2018.04.013