Despite significant efforts to raise awareness against fake academic journals, publishers and conferences, they continue to proliferate, threatening widespread damage to knowledge generation and academic integrity.
The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) – the global network of 140 science, engineering and medical academies - has launched an international research project for “Combatting Predatory Academic Journals and Conferences”, and elected Prof. Shaher Momani, Dean, College of Humanities and Sciences, Ajman University (AU) and a Distinguished Professor at The University of Jordan, a member of this global study.
The project, funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, is to report its findings by the end of 2021, according to Prof. Momani.
“The project, led by 12 experienced scientists from different disciplines and from 12 different countries nominated by academies around the world, will gauge the extent of predatory and fake journals, publishers and conferences worldwide, and review efforts to combat them to date,” he said.
Prof. Khaled Assaleh, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, said the substantial project will help improve the quality of research and have a positive impact on universities and research centers worldwide. "Ajman University is proud to be involved in this major global endeavor."
Prof. Momani added that the study will explore clear journal and conference standards applicable across fields for assessing journal and conference quality.
“The project will provide concrete recommendations for addressing the problem, aimed at the academic community, publishers, funders of research, universities and research administrators, and policymakers,” he said, before adding that the project is anticipated to be a precursor to a larger, more systemic exploration of research evaluation practices around the world.
“Fake journals, publishers and conferences, increasingly plaguing the scientific enterprise, prey on the pressure researchers feel to constantly publish.”
“Their predatory practices include pay-to-publish models without peer review, fake editorial boards listing respected scientists, fraudulent impact factors, journal names deceptively similar to those of legitimate journals, paid-for review articles that promote fake science, and spam invitations to sham conferences with high registration fees.”
Prof. Momani warned that though all researchers can be affected by these illegal practices, early-career researchers and those from developing countries are especially vulnerable.
“Urgently needed therefore from the scientific community is an effective, universally adopted strategy for eliminating this growing threat to rationality and wise decision-making around the globe,” he said, noting that more information about the project is available via this link: https://www.interacademies.org/node/51763.