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Peering into the dark corners of knowledge synthesis to understand the influence of predatory journals on systematic reviews

  • Manoj M. Lalu
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, 501 Smyth Road, PO Box 201B, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8L6, Canada. Tel.: +1 613 737 8899; fax: +1 613 761 5209.
    Affiliations
    Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, The Ottawa Hospital, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

    Clinical Epidemiology Program, Centre for Journalology, Blueprint Translational Research Group, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

    Regenerative Medicine Program, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

    Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

    School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Search for articles by this author
  • Marc A. Albert
    Affiliations
    Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, The Ottawa Hospital, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

    Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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  • Kelly D. Cobey
    Affiliations
    School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

    University of Ottawa Heart Institute, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Search for articles by this author
Published:September 13, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2022.09.005
      Predatory journals and publishers are a well described and pervasive problem in research across the globe. Although their characteristics are often debated, an international consensus definition has described these journals and publishers as “entities that prioritize self-interest at the expense of scholarship and are characterized by false or misleading information, deviation from best editorial and publication practices, a lack of transparency, and/or the use of aggressive and indiscriminate solicitation practices [
      • Grudniewicz A.
      • Moher D.
      • Cobey K.D.
      • Bryson G.L.
      • Cukier S.
      • Allen K.
      • et al.
      Predatory journals: no definition, no defence.
      ].” These journals exist primarily to exploit the open access system of publication that has been adopted by the biomedical research community–they collect article processing charges while failing to deliver services provided by legitimate journals (e.g., editorial oversight, copyediting, arranging peer review, indexing in reputable sources). The global scale of this issue was acknowledged in the 2021 UNESCO World Science report, which emphasized the detrimental effect predatory journals are having on the quality of published research [
      UNESCO
      Science report: the race against time for smarter development.
      ].

      Keywords

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