Predatory journals, characterized by poor editorial practices and questionable peer review, constitute a threat to academic literature. Citations to predatory journals in reviews of research potentially weaken the strength of these reviews, which are relied upon by nurses as evidence for practice. The purposes of this study were to assess the (a) extent to which reviews have relied on articles published in predatory journals, (b) nursing research practice areas most reliant on predatory journal citations, and (c) extent to which predatory journal citations are being used in reviews that guide the care of sensitive or vulnerable groups.
Literature and other types of reviews with 1 or more citations to a predatory journal (n = 78) were assessed. The reviews were classified by topic (clinical practice, education, and management).
The 78 reviews contained 275 citations to articles published in predatory journals; 51 reviews (65%) substantively used these references.
Predatory journal articles, which may not have been subjected to an adequate peer review, are being cited in review articles published in legitimate nursing journals, weakening the strength of these reviews as evidence for practice.