What’s Scary? Predatory Journals!

The substantial growth of predatory journals, those periodicals with review processes that are cursory (at best!) and charge authors to publish, is a growing concern in academia. 

A recent story in the New York Times highlighted a number of issues, including the observation that the upside of publishing papers in predatory journals seems to outweigh the downside, at least in some circumstances. Dubious academic activities extend to include scientific conferences with names that sound legitimate and familiar, but differ dramatically in their reputation and professionalism.

Not long ago, I received an email invitation from a group promoting obesity conferences in 2018 in locations around the world. Upon review, it was clear that these meetings weren’t affiliated with any well-known scientific organizations or included leaders in our field of study. However, it’s very easy to see how researchers new to the field or eager to present their research at an international meeting could be flattered by the attention and opportunity.

Don’t be spooked by predatory journals and conferences…and have a Happy Halloween!




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