About Predatory Journals practices

Predatory Journals or Predatory Publishers is an exploitative business model which characteristic feature is charging publication fees without providing the accountable scientific editorial services (more about accountable scientific editorial services). Editorial offices use open access policy in order to justify charging publication fees to authors – the article is published immediately after payment but without preserving the appropriate standards of publications for the scientific journals. Additionally, Predatory Journals use misleading communication such as:

•  providing false information about the involvement of well-known scientists in the review process of a particular journal;
•  spreading false information about the journal’s indexation in trustworthy bibliographic bases;
presenting fake bibliometric indicators, very often similar to those indicators which are highly respected in the scientific community;
•  lack of verification concerning the authenticity of manuscripts;
•  charging for adding names to the list of the authors of works that were not written by them.

Predatory Journals phenomenon leads to the “erosion” of the quality of scientific activity. In most educational systems, publications in scientific journals are the bases for the periodical assessment of the scientific workers and very often decide about their promotion, which include autonomy in conducting the researches and training future scientists. People who have gained their scientific autonomy through Predatory Journals services have no proper knowledge and no real academic achievements, which may lead to ineffective usage of the academic resources as well as the sponsors of scientific researchers.

Index Copernicus Experts has attempted to develop systematic strategies for counteracting the Predatory Journals practices. Such procedures give us a possibility to identify the journals using the above mentioned practices and raise standards of scientific journals’ editorial services. The aims of Index Copernicus activities are:

•  identification of the journals using Predatory Journals practices
•  creating the methods which will stop the Predatory Journals’ practices, 
•  increase social awareness concerning Predatory Journals actions,
•  the raise of standards in scientific journals’ editorial services,
•  development of tools which will diminish the scale of this phenomenon, including the encouragement of the journals to self-development that will let them abandon unethical publication practices.

Each journal applying for indexation in the ICI Journal Master List database is verified in case of using Predatory Journals practices (more about the verification process).

Moreover, each Journal Passport is provided with the contact form which gives a possibility to suggest the Index Copernicus Experts checking the particular journal might use the above mentioned unethical practices.

If the journal positively passes the process of verification, it is indexed in the ICI Journals Master List database for a given year. In case when the Index Copernicus Experts find out that the Editorial Office spreads false information, does not follow the transparency rule or does not provide accountable scientific editorial services, the given journal will not be indexed for a particular year, and its Passport will be marked with the proper alert (more about journal’s warning and alerts).

The list of journals suspected of using Predatory Journals practices, as well as these which do not follow the rules of transparency is available in the ICI World of Journals database at https://journals.indexcopernicus.com/search/form. The advanced tools provide the readers with a possibility to search for the journals with Transparency Warning and Predatory Alert statuses.