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Journals Quality Check for Publication

Despite many warnings issued by the publishers of legitimate journals to stay away from their fake/duplicate counterparts, many gullible researchers fall for them as these journals resemble the real things in look and feel. A new study suggests fake journals could also be evolving to bypass the standard ways to filter them out.
Usually a publication that proactively seeks research papers from scientists and publishes low-quality journals without a reliable editorial board and peer-review system is dubbed ‘predatory’. Predatory publishers often engage in forgery, plagiarism and incorrect indexing practices. They also falsify editorial boards and lure researchers by claiming to offer better services and assured publication.

Following a public outcry over their proliferation, paralleled by a media exposé together with regulatory pressures in some countries, fake journals have appeared to be cleaning up their act and become more meticulous about fulfilling certain criteria used to judge journals. However, they have been doing so by implementing cosmetic, as opposed to substantive, changes in the quality of their work.

Until recently, an American librarian named Jeffrey Beall maintained a list of such criteria, together with a list of titles that appeared to violate those criteria on his blog. The Beall’s list – as it came to be known – was used widely to identify potentially fake journals. However, Beall removed the list after multiple publishers alleged that their titles had been mistakenly added to the list, affecting their reputation.

“It is increasingly becoming hard to distinguish between authentic and predatory journals using a standard list of criteria or rules, the standard criteria need to be updated and our work shows which are the ones that may need to change.”