Exploring Arguments Presented in Predatory Journals Using Toulmin’s Model of Argumentation


In the academic community, predatory publishers are exploiting academic integrity and the open access publishing model. Academicians receive numerous spam e-mail messages inviting article submissions each day which deceive authors by promising fast review and publication. The content of these emails present arguments in a way to appear as legitimate and valid to grab the attention of authors. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to advance insights into the arguments deployed by fake journals in their attempt to convey specific indexicalities of identity and truthfulness. As a result of thematic analysis of 50 email messages from such journals, this research drew on two main themes-explicit and implicit arguments and their most frequent subcategories which were formal lexicon/grammar and fast peer- reviewed process. These arguments were, further, mapped on to Toulmin’s Model of Argumentation to find out more about the strength of the information used to support their claim. Utilizing Toulmin’s model, the findings highlighted the fact that there were instances of discursive deviations or “hidden rebuttals” that revealed the predatory journals’ ingenuity.

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Correspondence to Saman Ebadi.

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Ebadi, S., Ashtarian, S. & Zamani, G. Exploring Arguments Presented in Predatory Journals Using Toulmin’s Model of Argumentation. J Acad Ethics 18, 435–449 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-019-09346-0

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  • Predatory journals
  • Arguments
  • Indexicality
  • Toulmin’s model of argumentation