The process of journals verification in case of using Predatory Journals practices

In 2017 Index Copernicus introduced the policy for counteracting Predatory Journals practices to the procedure of indexation in the ICI Journals Master List database, where all the journals are initially verified in accordance with the defined rules (more about Predatory Journals practices). The Index Copernicus Experts check information declared in the evaluation questionnaire filled in by the Editorial Office, conduct a parametric assessment of the journal’s website, verify if the transparency rule is followed, and whether the accountable editorial services are provided.

Each journal applying for indexation in the ICI Journal Master List database is verified in case of using Predatory Journals practices.

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

The reasons for launching the verification procedure of the journals in terms of using Predatory Journals practices are:

•  confirmed reports about the lack of the accountable editorial services provided by the Editorial Offices,
•  publication information about indexation of the journal in the trustworthy bibliometric databases, which fact could not be confirmed,
•  publication of indicators confusingly similar to those used by the trustworthy bibliometric databases,
  a short period of time between submission of work and its publication, even few days (also known as - rapid publications), 
  publication of numerous articles (even several thousand per year),
•  providing various (unrelated) information on the websites in different languages, • creating different (unrelated) websites or electronic issues for the particular countries, 
  an aggressive campaign and encouragement of the scientists to send the articles or participate in various conferences (call for papers), 
  an aggressive advertisement of the journal on the internet forums.

There are three stages of journal verification in case of Predatory Journals practices used in the ICI Journals Master List database:

1. The first stage requires the Editorial Offices to deposit in the ICI World of Journals database all information about the content of each issue published at least two years before the assessed year. The number of articles has to be in accordance with the one declared in the evaluation questionnaire and with the data published on the journal website. The fact that the Editorial Offices disclose their scientific works means that they are ready to have quality of their articles evaluated by the international scientists.

2. During the second stage of verification the standards of scientific reviews are assessed. The reliable review constitutes a crucial role in the process of scientific development. Consequently, it is required that the Editorial Offices should: 
     • share a full list of reviewers who evaluated on the articles published in the journal in the evaluated year (the list should include names and surnames of the reviewers, e-mail addresses and affiliations), 
     • share the full content of the reviews of the articles published in the journal in the evaluated year along with peer review dialog.

3. The third stage of verification is the experts evaluation. The Index Copernicus Experts check whether the Editorial Office act according to the transparency rule, as well as analyse reliability of the provided editorial services.

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 of actions is available at the ICI World of Journals database at https://journals.indexcopernicus.com/search/form. The advanced tools provides the readers with a possibility to search for the journals with Transparency Warning and Predatory Alert statuses.