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CHM 4900/6900: Home

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Scientific Communication Resource

Citation Contamination or Citation Pollution

Know What You are Searching-Example: PubMed Versus MEDLINE

Scope of the Problem

Predatory Publishers

A predatory publisher is a publisher who produces low quality academic journals.  These journals are rarely peer-reviewed, and often charge the author a publication fee.  The publisher works hard to dupe authors into publishing by emulating well-known publishers, lying about their credentials, and soliciting submissions with spam emails.  Learn how to evaluate and identify predatory publishers using the criteria below:

  • Little or no peer review
  • Fake ISSN
  • Editors with no or fake credentials
  • No editors listed at all
  • False indexing claims in Web of Science, Directory of Open Access Journals, etc.
  • Rapid acceptance (within 2 weeks)
  • Call for papers email, a pre-acceptance email, and other "scammy" email
  • Empty or dead links
  • Spelling and grammar errors
  • Fake Impact Factor
    • Impact Factor can only be assigned by one company, Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters and Institute for Scientific Information).  An easy way to check is by searching the Impact Factor in InCites Journal Citations Report.

Tools to Help with Evaluation

Evaluating Journals and Authors

Is this journal reputable? - Think, check, submit.

The intended audience of this video is researchers selecting a journal in which to publish, but  you should also use this same process when deciding whether a journal is reputable before you cite it.  Obviously, you still need to evaluate any individual article you use to ensure that the methods and conclusions in it are sound and logical, but use caution in order to avoid citing articles published in questionable or predatory journals.

Subject Guide

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