"Predatory" open access: a longitudinal study of article volumes and market characteristics

Cenyu Shen, Bo-Christer Björk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

318 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Methods
After an initial scan of all predatory publishers and journals included in the so-called Beall's list, a sample of 613 journals was constructed using a stratified sampling method from the total of over 11,000 journals identified. Information about the subject field, country of publisher, article processing charge and article volumes published between 2010 and 2014 were manually collected from the journal websites. For a subset of journals, individual articles were sampled in order to study the country affiliation of authors and the publication delays.
Results
Over the studied period, predatory journals have rapidly increased their publication volumes from 53,000 in 2010 to an estimated 420,000 articles in 2014, published by around 8,000 active journals. Early on, publishers with more than 100 journals dominated the market, but since 2012 publishers in the 10␣99 journal size category have captured the largest market share. The regional distribution was highly skewed, in particular Asia and Africa contributed three quarters of authors. Authors paid an average article processing charge of 178 USD per article for articles typically published within 2 to 3 months of submission.
Conclusions
Despite a total number of journals and publishing volumes comparable to respectable (indexed by the Directory of Open Access Journals) open access journals, the problem of predatory open access seems highly contained to just a few countries, where the academic evaluation practices strongly favor international publication, but without further quality checks.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalBMC Medicine
Volume13
Issue number230
Number of pages10
ISSN1741-7015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • 512 Business and Management
  • 113 Computer and information sciences

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