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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 136-140

Awareness of predatory journals among physicians from Africa and the middle East: An exploratory survey


1 Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology, Institute of Medicine, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, UAE
2 National Diabetes and Endocrine Center, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tripoli, Tripoli, Libya
3 Department of Medicine, Benghazi Medical Center, Faculty of Medicine, University of Benghazi, Benghazi, Libya

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Salem A Beshyah
Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, P O Box 59472, Abu Dhabi
UAE
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijmbs.ijmbs_45_18

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Objectives: There is a recent proliferation of predatory journals (PJ) targeting unwary authors and unsuspecting institutions. We evaluated the awareness, attitude, and practices related to predatory publishing among physicians from the Middle East and Africa. Subjects and Methods: An online survey of a convenience sample of physicians was conducted. One hundred and forty responses were received. Of these 76 were complete and they formed the basis of this study. Results: Respondents hold a specialty board or equivalent (46.1%), doctorate (26.3%) or Master (13.2%). Half of the respondents published between 1 and 10 articles and less than a fifth had no prior authorship experience. Respondents are reportedly fully aware (30.3%) or fairly familiar but were not confident with details (43.4%), whereas 26.3% have no clear idea about models of publishing (open access [OA] vs. subscription-only). Nearly one third have never heard about predatory publishing and one in six of the respondents may have heard about it, but they were not sure. 69.7% reported no knowledge of Jeffery Beall and his list. The majority thought it might be somewhat difficult (51.4%) or difficult (24.3%) to distinguish between predatory and legitimate OA journals and 40%–60% affirmed knowledge of features of predatory publishing practices. 50%–60% recognized that PJ target authors in the developing nations. Respondents reported a variable frequency of unsolicited E-mails inviting them to submit articles to suspected PJ or act as reviewers or editors. Only a minority would take further action to protest against such invitations. Many respondents suggested warning young researchers and inexperienced authors about PJ by improved supervision and mentorship practices. Conclusions: There is a low awareness of predatory publishing. There were varying attitudes and practices among respondents.


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