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Is predatory publishing a real threat? Evidence from a large database study


Using a database of potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access journals, the objective of this research is to study the penetration of predatory publications in the Brazilian academic system and the profile of authors in a cross-section empirical study. Based on a massive amount of publications from Brazilian researchers of all disciplines during the 2000–2015 period, we were able to analyze the extent of predatory publications using an econometric modeling. Descriptive statistics indicate that predatory publications represent a small overall proportion, but grew exponentially in the last 5 years. Departing from prior studies, our analysis shows that experienced researchers with a high number of non-indexed publications and PhD obtained locally are more likely to publish in predatory journals. Further analysis shows that once a journal regarded as predatory is listed in the local ranking system, the Qualis, it starts to receive more publications than non-predatory ones.

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    See AJE research report for Brazilhere.

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    See and

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    An ISSN is structured as XXXX-XXXY, where X is any number and Y is a number or a text.

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    The model is estimated using R package glmmML (Brostrm 2017).

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    The results for all rankings are very comparable, with matching coefficient signs and significance. However, the absolute value decreases significantly.


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Correspondence to Marcelo S. Perlin.

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Perlin, M.S., Imasato, T. & Borenstein, D. Is predatory publishing a real threat? Evidence from a large database study. Scientometrics 116, 255–273 (2018).

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  • Predatory journals
  • Scholarly publishing
  • Open access
  • Lattes platform

Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 00-01
  • 99-00