Early career researchers and predatory journals during the Covid-19 pandemic: An international analysis

David Nicholas, Blanca Rodríguez-Bravo, Cherifa Boukacem-Zeghmouri, Eti Herman, David Clark, Jie Xu, Abdullah Abrizah, Marzena Świgoń, Anthony Watkinson, David Sims, Hamid R. Jamali, Carol Tenopir, Suzie Allard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Around 170 early career researchers (ECRs) from 8 countries were interviewed about the whole range of their scholarly communication attitudes/behaviours during pandemic times and this paper analyses what they said about predatory journals in a wide range of scholarly communication contexts. Because of the delicacy of the topic there was just one question exclusively directed at predatory journals, which asked about policies rather than actions, which yielded nevertheless wide-ranging comments on the topic. ECRs also volunteered information on predatory journals in another half dozen questions, most notably including one on questionable research practices. The source of data was mainly the final interview of three undertaken, with some comparisons made to rounds one and two. Findings disclose the existence of a whole raft of formal and informal assessment policies/codes that direct ECRs to legitimate journals and away from predatory ones. Despite being junior, ECRs are very accultured to the criteria of what is considered as prestige and quality and believe predatory publishing is not even conceivable. They are far more concerned about low-quality research, preprints and borderline ‘grey’ journals. The pandemic has increased the level of questionable practices and low-quality research, but predatory journals were only singled out by a relatively small number of ECRs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere320117
Number of pages16
JournalProfesional de la Informacion
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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