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A Walk on the Wild Side: 'Predatory' Journals and Information Asymmetries in Scientific Evaluations

Manuel Bagues (), Mauro Sylos-Labini () and Natalia Zinovyeva ()

LEM Papers Series from Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy

Abstract: In recent years the academic world has experienced a mushrooming of jour-nals that falsely pretend to be legitimate academic outlets. We study this phe-nomenon using information from 46,000 researchers seeking promotion in Italian academia. About 5% of them have published in journals included in the blacklist of ' potential, possible, or probable predatory journals' elaborated by the schol-arly librarian Jeffrey Beall. Data from a survey that we conducted among these researchers confirms that at least one third of these journals do not provide peer review or they engage in some other type of irregular editorial practice. We iden-tify two factors that may have spurred publications in dubious journals. First, some of these journals have managed to be included in citation indexes such as Scopus that many institutions consider as a guarantee of quality. Second, we show that authors who publish in these journals are more likely to receive a positive evaluation when (randomly selected) scientific evaluators lack research expertise. Overall, our analysis suggests that the proliferation of 'predatory' journals may reflect the existence of severe information asymmetries in scientific evaluations.

Keywords: predatory journals; Italian academia; scientific misconduct (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur and nep-sog
Date: 2017-09-01
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Related works:
Journal Article: A walk on the wild side: ‘Predatory’ journals and information asymmetries in scientific evaluations (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: A Walk on the Wild Side: `Predatory' Journals and Information Asymmetries in Scientific Evaluations (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: A Walk on the Wild Side: 'Predatory' Journals and Information Asymmetries in Scientific Evaluations (2017) Downloads
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