FROM THE EDITOR - Predatory Journals
In August of 2014, I attended the annual International Academy of Nurse Editors (INANE) meeting in Portland, Maine. Jeffrey Beall, an academic librarian and blogger, presented on the topic of “predatory publishers”. To start at the beginning, I need to explain open access, a relatively recent topic in the world of scholarly publications. Open access allows readers free electronic access to articles, either immediately or with a delay of some specified amount of time. The author or their funder is responsible for paying a processing charge, which varies by the journal. Journals may be 100% open access, or they may be hybrid models, with both traditional and open access articles. There are many highly rigorous peer-reviewed journals that are 100% open access. The original intent of open access publishing was to quickly and widely disseminate important research findings. Many funders require that articles, which emerge from research they funded, be made available through open access.
Publishing in electronic format is much easier and less costly than in traditional paper journals. As a result, the open access movement has led to what Jeffrey Beall refers to as “predatory publishers”. Hundreds of new journals have cropped up in recent years with promises of rapid peer review and quick publication turn-around times. Unsuspecting authors have published in these journals that are neither scholarly nor accepted by the scientific community. These unscrupulous publishers claim to have reputable people as reviewers, as editors and on their editorial boards. In reality, these are either false names or the person is not aware that their name is being used in conjunction with the journal. Journal titles and logos are suspiciously similar to credible journals. Since authors are now viewed as a source of revenue for the journal, flattering emails that encourage submissions and offers to write guest editorials have become pervasive.
In the same vein, these publishers are also offering predatory conferences for which speakers and attendees are solicited. Recently I received an email invitation to speak at “2nd International Conference on Nursing & Healthcare”. Note that the word “the” does not precede 2nd as it would if the writer was a native English speaker. Many of these predatory publishing groups have their offices in Nigeria or India. Close scrutiny will reveal English grammar errors in their emails and journal web pages. Later in the email, it referred to the conference as “Nursing-14”, an intentional reference to a legitimate annual conference sponsored by the Lippincott journal Nursing2014. The topics to be offered were so broad, you can’t imagine how one conference could cover everything from psychiatric nursing and cancer nursing, to “dental nursing”. One of the promised sessions was on just plain “clinical nursing”. I would love to sit in on that exciting session! I also recently received an invitation to speak at a conference in China. I was quite excited until I noted that they were asking me to speak on research published six years ago! Not exactly state-of-the-art.
At the INANE conference, one of the speakers, an editor and nurse educator, described her “undercover” experience with one of these so-called conferences. What she found was disappointed attendees who didn’t get what they paid for. It was highly unorganized and advertised speakers were not present. Rather than a roomful of attendees, there were 5 or 6 in a room with all sessions offered one after the other by the same person.
Unfortunately, authors eager to publish and unaware of these disreputable practices, have fallen for the promise of quick and easy peer review and publications. Healthcare providers have unknowingly registered for these so-called conferences, with no return on their money and time.
Not wanting to publish articles with references to articles in these predatory journals, the editors at the INANE meeting announced a call for action. We wish to warn our readers of these dishonest practices and provide suggestions for avoiding these unscrupulous publishers. Before submitting a manuscript for publication, visit Jeffrey Beall’s website at: http://scholarlyoa.com/about/ where he maintains a current list of predatory publishers. INANE offers a directory of nursing journals at: http://nursingeditors.com/journals-directory/. If you plan to submit a manuscript to a nursing journal for peer review, make sure the journal is listed on this site.
There are a lot of great articles in this month’s issue of Home Healthcare Now. I would like to point readers to the article by Teresa Lee and Jennifer Schiller on The Future of Home Health Project. After reading the article be sure to visit the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation (AHHQI) website at http://ahhqi.org/home-health/future-project. You will find the latest information on the project and an invitation to submit your comments and suggestions. Author Margherita Labson, Executive Director of The Joint Commission Home Care Program provides excellent examples of innovation in improving care transitions in her article “Innovative and Successful Approaches to Improving Care Transitions from Hospital to Home”. Joni Pyle writes about an educational intervention to teach home care nurses motivation interviewing to improve communication, and author Donna Egnatios discusses a quality improvement project to implement an evidence-based guideline bundle to improve pain in home care patients. Our usual departments are back, bringing you updates on diabetes, infection prevention and much more.
I hope you are enjoying the broadened focus of Home Healthcare Now.
As always, I hope to hear from you. Email me at HHNEditor@gmail.com
Maureen Anthony, PhD, RN