Understanding the scourge of predatory journals and conferences in academia

Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) (2021)

MP4 Video; Size: ; Duration: 01:30:00

Presented as part of Science Forum South Africa 2021. This presentation highlights some of the key emerging findings and recommendations of an InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) study “Combatting predatory academic journals and conferences” which will report in early 2022. IAP is the global network of over 140 national academies of science, engineering and medicine who work together on policy issues of vital importance. Predatory journals and conferences are pervading the research enterprise: they are driven entirely by profit and involve some form of deception, such as the false promise of rigorous peer review - a hallmark of academic research. What is more, their tactics are becoming increasingly sophisticated and that it is becoming more difficult to distinguish fraudulent practices from low quality or questionable ones. This means that poor science can find its way into the knowledge base and good science can be overlooked when it appears in low credibility journals: if left unchallenged, the implications are profound. The IAP study has been informed by a unique survey of the global research community in which over 1,800 researchers participated. The survey gives a concerning insight into the extent and impact of these predatory practices across the world, what drives them and motivates researchers to use them. By understanding these dynamics and the relative vulnerabilities and exposure to predatory outlets, the survey can help identify the most impactful ways of combatting them. African members of the international working group leading this work provide a preview of the study's findings, including (i) emerging recommendations for key stakeholder communities who play their part in the knowledge ecosystem, such as researchers, research funders, publishers, academic leaders, libraries and indexing services; and (ii) a new spectrum tool designed to assist many of them. An African perspective is prominent in the discussions. The session explores the following key questions: 1. What are predatory journals and conferences? 2. Why are they on the rise? 3. Why are they important? 4. What can be done to curb them? 5. What resources are available to help researchers and others minimise their risk?

Publisher: Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
Peer review status: Non-Peer Reviewed
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